As per nutritionists and health experts, consuming foods that contain transfat can put yourself or someone else at great risk of many health issues like obesity, heart issues, etc. If you’re a food junkie or health-conscious person you might read the nutrition label to get a good hold of what you should be consuming and what you shouldn’t be consuming to be at your optimum health. Now, what is trans-fat in nutrition? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of trans-fat.
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What is transfat in nutrition? What is the recommended transfat intake?
Transfat is the type of nutrition that is a type of dietary fat that is the worst for your health. You must be wondering how bad is transfat? Excessive trans-fat in your diet increases your risk for heart disease and other health problems.
Trans-fats are made when food makers turn liquid oils into solid fats, like shortening or margarine. Trans-fats can be found in many fried, “fast” packaged, or processed foods, including:
- Anything fried and battered
- Shortening and stick margarine
- Cakes, cake mixes, pies, pie crust, and doughnuts
Animal foods, such as red meats and dairy, have small amounts of trans-fats. But most trans-fats come from processed or fried foods.
As per doctors, health experts, and nutritionists, transfats are not required in our bodies and should be consumed as little as possible. Here are recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association:
You should get no more than 25% to 30% of your daily calories from fats.
You should limit saturated fat to less than 10% of your daily calories.
You should limit trans-fat to less than 1% of your daily calories. For someone with a 2,000 calorie a day diet, this is about 20 calories or 2 grams per day.
Transfat food list
Trans-fat doesn’t only increase your bad cholesterol but also lowers your good cholesterol. Foods that contain transfat should be avoided in large quantities to avoid further health complications. A diet laden with trans-fat increases your risk of heart disease, obesity, etc., and this is the leading killer of adults. The more trans-fat you eat, the greater your risk of heart and blood vessel disease due to obesity or an increase of bad cholesterol.
Trans-fat is so unhealthy that the Food and Drug Administration has recently put a transfat ban on food manufacturers or producers thus preventing from adding the major source of artificial trans-fat to foods and beverages.
The FDA expects that this move will prevent thousands of heart attacks or cardiac arrests related deaths every year but before this regulation takes effect, some products with added trans-fat may still be available in department stores or supermarkets, or grocery stores. The manufactured form of trans-fats known as hydrogenated oil, here are some foods with trans-fat or some sources of transfat:
- Baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, and pies
- Microwave popcorn
- Frozen pizza
- Refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls
- Fried foods, including French-fries, doughnuts, and fried chicken
- Non-dairy coffee creamer
- Stick margarine
- Trans fat vs Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are derived mainly from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fats raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus it doesn’t just bless you with good cholesterol but also curses you with the bad ones.
Trans-fats occur naturally in some foods that contain transfat in small amounts. But most trans-fats are made from oils through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. These partially hydrogenated trans-fats can increase total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, but lower HDL cholesterol. This can increase your risk of cardiovascular and blood disease.
What is transfat on a food label? Or what are the alternative names of trans-fats?
Some alternative names of trans-fats are in foods that contain transfat:
- Trans fatty acids;
- Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs);
- Cholesterol – trans-fats;
- Hyperlipidemia – trans-fats;
- Atherosclerosis – trans-fat;
- Hardening of the arteries – trans-fat;
- Hypercholesterolemia – trans-fat;
- Coronary artery disease – trans-fat;
- Heart disease – trans-fat;
- Peripheral artery disease – trans-fat;
- PAD – trans-fat;
- Stroke – trans-fat;
- CAD – trans-fat.
What ingredients have transfat?
Foods that contain transfat may have natural trans-fat which are derived from animal food sources and artificial ones are derived from hydrogenated oils.
Why was transfat added to the nutrition facts label?
As per sciencedaily.com, July 9, 2003 — U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today that food labels will be required to list the amount of unhealthy trans-fatty acids, or transfat, to give consumers better information when choosing their foods. By providing more useful information to consumers seeking a healthy diet, the new labels are expected to reduce the costs of illness and disease. Foods that contain transfat, like saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, raise LDL “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood, which increases the risk for heart disease, obesity, etc. Dietary supplement manufacturers will now need to list trans-fat, as well as saturated fat and cholesterol, on the Supplement Facts panel when their products contain more than trace amounts (0.5 gram) of trans-fat.
Thus, foods that contain transfat are not only bad for the size of your waist, but also for your heart and cardiovascular system.