One of the few things that a lot of health experts agree on is the fact that trans fats are unhealthy.
Actually, not just unhealthy-they are nasty, and can ruin your health. Even the lobbyist-influenced FDA has gotten on board somewhat, requiring manufacturers to include information about trans fat on all nutrition labels.
You probably know that you shouldn’t eat foods with trans fat, but here’s the reasons why trans fat is bad for you.
Why Is Trans Fat Bad For You?
A Basic idea on Trans Fat
Some fats are unbelievably healthy, and critical to living a long life. Others are of mediocre quality. Still yet, some should have a black mask as a symbol. Trans fats would be included in the ones that should wear a black mask.
Nutritional expert Mark Sisson describes trans fats as being shape shifters. Trans fats start out as regular fats that are then transformed. Most of the time, trans fats are composed of a series of unsaturated oils that are then (in a laboratory) combined with hydrogen into a non-natural substance that tastes like food and resembles food, but is no longer food.
This hydrogen saturates into the oil, creating a stable fat. It’s easy to store. It doesn’t spoil as fast, and it can be used like regular fats. At least, it can be added and cooked in without most people noticing.
The Risks of Trans Fat
Trans fats wreak havoc on the metabolism. In 2006, Science Daily reported that those who consumed an equal number of calories but ate foods high in trans fat gained significantly more weight than another group of individuals who consumed the same number of calories but avoided all trans fats.
The second group still ate fats. They just ate mono-saturated fats (a varying array of other fats-some healthy, some not so much, but collectively less dangerous than trans fats). This research conducted at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine delivered shocking results.
Most of the fat gained among this group developed primarily around the abdomen. These individuals did not even exceed healthy calorie consumption. The study revealed that weight gain may be as much as seven times more among individuals who consumed trans fat.
Lots of trans fat = lots of belly fat
Other studies have linked hardening of the arteries with a diet high in trans fat.
Some of the less severe risks from trans fat consumption include digestive problems as well as irritable bowel syndrome. If you already have leaky gut syndrome, then eating foods with trans fats will probably make it worse.
Dr. Joseph Mercola warns that trans fats have also been linked to fertility problems as well as insulin receptivity, leading to an increased risk for diabetes.
Trans fats are nasty. If you want to live a healthy life, you’d be wise to avoid them at every place possible.
Avoiding Trans Fats
Just because you recognize the problems with trans fats does not mean that you are necessarily avoiding them. According to Dr. Mercola’s article, “Scientists Unlock How Trans Fats Harm Your Arteries,” most processed foods contain significant levels of trans fats, The FDA may require that levels of trans fats be reported, but they do not require that the foods be kept separate from foods processed with trans fats.
Other names can also be used. Additionally, restaurants, schools, cafeterias, and hospitals are not required to report the trans fat levels unless they choose to do so willingly. Even the supposed health foods at these places can have trans fats while looking to be a healthy option.
Most of the time, foods that have trans fats are processed baked goods and deep fried foods. Most of the options at a fast-food restaurant have some trans fat in them.
The only way to make sure you aren’t consuming trans fats is to make sure that you cook your own meals as often as possible. Cooking is only the first step though. You have to make sure that you’re using healthy ingredients.
Avoid processed butters and baked goods. Use healthy fats instead from sources such as raw butter (from grass-fed cows), coconut oil and olive oil.
Raw fats including dairy, olive oil, some sea food, and avocados provide plenty of healthy fats and allow you plenty of variety in your diet.
Above all else, EAT REAL FOOD. Food from a garden, a cage-free chicken egg, or a grass-fed cow is not tainted with the dangerous processing done by humans. Switch away from processed foods, and move toward real foods, and watch your life change.
Mark Sisson, “Dear Mark: Trans Fat,” Mark’s Daily Apple, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-are-trans-fats-bad/#axzz2cBizbkN9 (2011).
“Trans Fat Leads to Weight Gain Even on Same Total Calories,” Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060619133024.htm (2006).
Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Scientists Unlock How Trans Fats Harm Your Arteries,” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/16/scientists-unlock-how-trans-fats-harm-your-arteries.aspx (2010).