'THE BAD GUYS' - TRANS FATS

 

When enjoyed in moderation fats are not the enemy and are important for a truly healthy body but there are some fats that are just NOT good for the body. I'm talking about transfats aka 'The bad guys'.

There's two types of trans fats;

1. Naturally occurring transfats - These occur naturally in small amounts in some meat and dairy products.

2. Artificial transfats - These are created as a result of an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid as well as increase their shelf life. This process turns vegetable oils into hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils which are NOT healthy.

Natural trans fats are not necessarily a point of concern, especially if you choose low-fat dairy products and lean meats. Artificial trans fats however are a whole different animal! Even in small amounts, artificial trans fats raise your ‘bad cholesterol' and at the same time lower your 'good cholesterol'. This double whammy increases your chances of developing heart diseases and stroke. In some cases trans fats have also been associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Artificial trans fats can be found in many commercial foods. Because of their increased shelf life they're found in most fried and baked goods like doughnuts, mandazis, fries, crisps, cakes, cookies, biscuits and pastries. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use these 'partially hydrogenated' oils to deep fry foods because they can be used many times in commercial fryers. These oils are inexpensive to produce hence cheaper which might explain why they're so prevalent.

Eating healthy therefore means limiting my consumption of junk food (fast foods) as much as possible and always using healthier vegetable oils like olive oil and coconut oil in my cooking.

Eat better. Live better.