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TRANS-FATS - WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY THEY ARE HARMFUL?


Trans-fats are also known as hydrogenated fats, or the bad fats. Hydrogenated fats are man made and because they are chemically created and not found in nature, they are bad for the body. They start out as a healthy liquid fat, but through a process called hydrogenation, their chemical structure is changed making them solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated fats clog the arteries and put your heart as risk.

So why do we even have these types of fats? Well, first, they are cheap to make, second, they increase the shelf life of products. Food scientists found a way to engineer these oils so that food companies can sell more products, keep them on the shelves longer, and hence, make more money. Hydrogenated fats are used by restaurants, especially, fast food chains, but they are also in a vast amount of products in your supermarket.

You can avoid these trans-fats by avoiding fried food and by reading food labels. Look for words such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated in the ingredients list. Foods that commonly contain hydrogenated fats are:

  • Margarine

  • Fried foods like french fries, donuts

  • Many sauces and seasonings

  • Processed foods like chips, crackers, imitation cheese, cakes, pastries and snack foods

Remember that trans fats make products last longer, but they won't help the body last longer.

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