Trans fat is no joke. Have you ever dropped a fast food french fry in your car and days or even months later your come across it while cleaning your car out and it immaculately looks the same? This is trans fat at it’s finest. Rule of thumb here folks….if it can survive an apocalypse…DON’T EAT IT.
Trans fat is made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation. The reason they do this is to make the oil less likely to spoil. Using trans fats in the manufacturing of foods helps foods stay “fresh” longer, have a longer shelf life. You can find trans fat in everything from packaged baked goods to deep fried foods. Fast food restaurants usually use trans fat oils because they give french fries a nice golden crisp.
Why is it bad? Trans fat can’t be digested so your body recognizes it as saturated fat. It raises your bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your good (HDL) cholestrol levels. This increases your chances of heart disease which is the leading killer of men and women in the U.S. There is also evidence that links trans fats to cancer, diabetes, infertility in women, and Alzheimer’s disease. It is considered to be the worst oil you can ingest.
So what’s the dirty scam? Well…if you are not a savvy label reader, you are being lied to if you don’t catch the dirty words that tell you that trans fat is STILL lurking in your food even though the box claims to be free of trans fat. Although in 2006 the FDA required that all manufacturers list the trans fat content of their products in the food labels, they also gave these food producers the ability to list 0 grams of trans fat per serving if the serving contains less than .5 grams because it “rounds down to zero”. Many food manufacturers didn’t actually remove or reduce the trans fat content from their products but instead decreased the serving size so that it could reflect .5 grams to be rounded down therefore scamming the American people. As usual they find labeling loopholes and could give a rat’s ass about your health.
How can you avoid consuming trans fat? Well my first piece of advice is to eat whole fresh foods and stray from eating packaged processed foods. But if you must then you need to READ the INGREDIENTS. Don’t let them fool you! If you encounter the ingredients: HYDROGENATED or PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS in the ingredients label then you know for sure the food contains trans fat even though it says 0 trans fat in the nutrition facts. In this case “zero” really doesn’t mean zero so get smart!