What to Know about Trans Fat Foods?
The American Heart Association and virtually every health authority and expert wants us to cut down on trans fatÂ foods. The creation of trans fat occurs when liquid oils solidify by partial hydrogenation.Â This process stretches food shelf life. It also changes safe unsaturated fat into dangerous fat.
Experts blame trans fat foods for at least 30,000 premature deaths a year. Experts now say trans fats are “the biggest food-processing disaster in U.S. history“.
Some products have already listed the amount of trans fat on the Nutrition Facts Panel. All others did so by January 1, 2006.
Trans Fat Foods
Since the presence of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils does not serve as the best determinant of trans fat foods, here are some facts to consider:
- Some margarine’s contain some partially hydrogenated oils. The combined amounts of trans and saturated fats are often less than the amount of saturated fat in butter.
- Spreads with plant stanol or sterol esters also contain partially hydrogenated oils. The plant stanol/sterol esters provide a LDL-cholesterol labeling benefit. The trans fat content is a negligible 0.5-1 gram per tablespoon.
- Peanut butter, which is rich in mostly beneficial unsaturated fat, may contain 1 to 2 percent partially hydrogenated oil to prevent oil separation. The resulting amount of trans fat is not detectable in a 2-tablespoon serving.
Why Trans Fat is So Bad
Trans may lower HDL (good) cholesterol, makes it more difficult for arteries to dilate and raise the risk of diabetes. Most stick margarine has more trans or saturated fat than tub margarine. The trans fat helps stick margarine retain its shape.