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Trans Fats and Diabetes in Women

Fitness for mind and body.

It is too early to say that trans fat causes diabetes, but a study shows that women who consume more trans fat have a higher risk of the disease.

Margarine Trans Fat and Diabetes

Cholesterol-rich foods were also linked to a higher risk, while polyunsaturated fats (which are found largely in vegetable and fish oils) seem to protect against diabetes.

One possible explanation:
Cell membranes rich in polys may do a better job of admitting insulin from the bloodstream into the cells.

Trans Fat in Foods

Despite the fact that food companies, fast food restaurants and manufacturers are cutting back on trans fat, they are still found in a wide variety of foods; Doughnuts, stick margarines, salad dressings and even breakfast cereals, for example.

Thanks to changes in cooking oils, most menu items at major fast food chains now have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat. But don't forget these foods still may be high in saturated fat, sodium and calories. Check ingredient labels on all packaged foods for "partially hydrogenated oils" and opt for one's with no hydrogenated oils to avoid trans fat.

What to do:

  • Replace trans fats (found largely in stick margarine, shortening, fried foods and sweet baked goods) with unsaturated fats (from fish, vegetable and olive oils, salad dressings, and nuts).
  • Swapping trans fat for saturated fat would make no sense since both raise LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

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