In our last blog post in November I listed the 12 food additives to avoid and now I will begin to define and explain why some food additives should be avoided.

I will begin with Trans Fats.   An unhealthy substance, also known as trans fatty acid, made through the chemical process of hydrogenation of oils. Hydrogenation solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life and the flavor stability of oils and foods that contain them. Trans fat is found in vegetable shortenings and in some margarines.  Here’s some information about trans fat and how to avoid it.

The manufactured form of trans fat, known as partially hydrogenated oil, is found in a variety of food products.  Look for “0 g trans fat” on the Nutrition Facts label and no hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list. Doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods found in the grocery stores that usually contain trans fat. 

Some meat and dairy products contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fat. But most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature. This partially hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Some restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in their deep fryers, because it doesn’t have to be changed as often as do other oils.

“Trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fat — also called trans-fatty acids — both raises your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol.  A diet laden with trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, the leading killer of men and women.”   Staff at Mayo Clinic

It’s very important to read your labels when purchasing foods that contain fats and make sure there are no trans fats in the products you are buying.  Especially staying clear of deep fried foods  because they are generally high in trans fatty acids.  Be particular in choosing your food when eating out.  All deep fat fried foods contain trans fats and many other fried or processed foods that contain shortening or margarine in the ingredients will have trans fats.

Here is a list of the top 10 foods containing trans fats:

  1. Shortening or Margerine
  2. Packaged Mixes such as pancake mix, cake mix, icing mixes, etc..
  3. Coffee Creamers
  4. Instant Ramen Noodles
  5. Baked Goods such as cookies, crackers, donuts, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, etc.
  6. Breakfast Sausages
  7. Breakfast Sandwiches
  8. Frozen Pizza
  9. Microwave Popcorn
  10. Fried Fast Foods such as French fries and fried chicken

The American Heart Association recommends that adults who would benefit from lowering LDL cholesterol reduce their intake of trans fat and limit their consumption of saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6% of total calories

Eating a diet containing 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day as recommended by the American Dietetics Association will help our bodies be satisfied with less trans fats .  Our dietary goal should be to eat a balanced diet containing very few trans fatty acids.  It’s best to choose food as grown rather than highly processed food.   Choose  most of your food as fresh food; such as vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fresh caught fish or grass fed, free range animal products in order to avoid trans fatty acids.  This is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and happy!

Above all things I wish that you would prosper and be in good health!



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