Fats — the good (unsaturated), the bad — (saturated). Today we are going to look at the ugly. The type of fat that has no redeeming qualities. Avoid it! We’re talking about the Dracula of fats, trans fat.
Trans fat are not found in nature, but are man-made. Someone figured out that you add hydrogen to unsaturated fats by a chemical process, the fats will have a lighter feel and will stay fresh longer. The trouble is that trans fats don’t work the same in your body as natural unsaturated fats. The trans fats keep the cells from being able to completely digest proteins, transmit oxygen, and fight off bacteria and viruses.
Its most deadly attribute, though, is what it does to your heart. It raises the “bad” cholesterol and shuts down the “good.” That means it contributes to heart attacks and stroke. It also is implicated in the diabetes epidemic. All the research isn’t in, but there are indications that trans fats also may cause cancer, liver dysfunction and infertility. And that’s not even talking about the trans fat influence on the obesity rates.
So where do you find trans fats? Read the labels. You will find them in abundance in baked goods and chips. Using trans fats gives these things a longer shelf life, which is good for the sellers, but bad for you.
The biggest source of deadly fats is in fast food. French fries are particularly harmful, since most of the fast food chains use trans fat to fry them. A large order of fries typically contain between 7 and 10 grams of trans fat. That’s enough to make them a food to avoid, even if they didn’t also have loads of sodium. And even if they didn’t make your blood sugar skyrocket.
Hash browns and onion rings are even worse — typically 10 to 13 grams per serving.
How can you avoid these Dracula fats that are out for your blood? Don’t use fats in solid form for cooking. No Crisco. Instead substitute healthier oils, like olive oil and unprocessed coconut oil.
And stay away from the fast food joints. If you really have to eat it or starve, try for the least deadly options. Some places, like Chic-fil-a, offer fruit and other sides to replace the fries. You can check out the nutrition information for most fast food chains online.
Avoiding trans fats may involve a little trouble — but far less trouble than a heart attack or stroke!
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown