This Article is About
unsaturated fats
weight loss efforts
nutrition label
negative behaviors
hydrogenated oils
processed foods
How Bad Is Trans Fat?
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How Bad is Trans Fat?

At least 3 out of 5 Americans already know the dangers of trans fat or unsaturated fat. This is good news, because many are now becoming more aware of the importance of avoiding this type of fat that is bad for the health. In fact, this toxic ingredient causes many people to be overweight or obese. And this is the one that can hold back your weight loss efforts and eventually affect your health.

Most recently, the United States has dropped to rank #9 in the list of fattest countries in the world with 74.1% of overweight or obese (age 15 and over). Nauru is rank #1 having 94.5% followed by Federated States of Micronesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Samoa, Palau, and Kuwait. Rank #10 on the list is Kiribati.

Just recently also, researchers are looking into the possibility that trans fat might also be playing a role in negative behaviors such as impatience, irritability, and even aggression. We already know that most occurrence of unsaturated fats are in fast food, snack, fried, and baked goods industries where cooking is made with very high heat, which cannot be made possible in an ordinary household kitchen. But these fats can also be found in our local stores.

Trans fat is never saturated. Although this type of fat is rare in living nature, it oftentimes occur in processed foods. Sad to say, there can be an endless list of it in the grocery stores. Another form of unsaturated fat is partially hydrogenated oil which is put into food products. You can literally fill your shopping cart with products having partially hydrogenated oils. This type of oil is noted to be more hazardous than naturally occurring oils.

Obviously, putting these oils into processed foods make them last much longer on the shelf, so more funds for food companies. The tricky part is that, people oftentimes read only the impressive nutrition label and overlook the list of ingredients (where partially hydrogenated oil can be found listed).

The kind of food we eat determines our health. Avoiding unsaturated fats and having your own healthy meal plans will lead you to a healthy living.

The major threat of partially hydrogenated oil in the body is coronary heart disease because it increases “bad” LDL cholesterol and lowers “good” HDL cholesterol. Since this is a global problem, health authorities worldwide are implementing laws to reduce, if not eliminate, trans fat in food products and fast foods. And many well-known food companies are now cooperating.


Street Talk

AnnMarie  

Thanks for helping keep us all healthier, lemuel! I just saw a news report this morning where a Mom is being reprimanded for putting her obese daughter on a diet for the past year and getting the child's weight under control. It seems the general public is fickle on the subject as child obesity is on the rise and yet they criticize a mom for being too strict about her child's diet. Sheesh! Do these people see the unhealthy stuff they call food kids are offered in school cafeterias?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Hello and welcome. Yeah, there is an alarming problem with child obesity. I agree that the child's Mom was doing the right thing. What's alarming is that children who used to be naturally playful, now opt to be physically inactive. This is really a strong challenge for fitness experts because when a child grows up being overweight then later decide to lose weight, he/she may not like the fruits & vegetables listed in the diet programs, and would result in an "exercise-only" routine. This can oftentimes be ineffective because although exercise is good, healthy eating is king when it comes to weight loss.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
AnnMarie  

Oh, all too many parents are not as health conscious or just don't know about healthy eating themselves. So you're right, most kids who are obese or overweight end up taking it into adulthood.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you for this article lemuel. This information needs to be 'out there'. There is so much misunderstanding about good and bad fats!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Yeah, there is misunderstanding about good & bad fats. In fact, trans fat became popular with both consumers & manufacturers because of its power to preserve. It was first discovered in the early 1990s under the name "partially hydrogenated oil", and although health experts suspected that it's a bad fat, the danger was not exposed to the public - not until 2006 when trans fat was officially put into food labels. "Processed fat" is really something that we should stay away from.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

Another good read lemuel, I know I always read the ingredients of the items I buy - safer that way. I am surprised not to see Australia in the top ten overweigt counties. Our media report that we are all the time!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Hi. Thank you. There seems to be a separate study conducted for highly developed countries only, and Australia is at the top 5 or 6. Although the reporter would sometimes omit the phrase "developed countries", what you will see on the list are rich countries only. Nauru was once progressive but now facing serious economic challenges.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Good article. If one thinks about it, how long have we really studied this?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks. I believe it was in 2006 that I first saw trans fat in food labels but I didn't knew then that its alias was partially hydrogenated oil. Trans fat quickly became popular because of its power to preserve. But as quickly as it became famous, health experts also found its downside, because back in the 1990s it was already suspected that partially hydrogenated oil was bad fat. The news quickly spread over the globe & there were constant updates that the website I was visiting couldn't keep up with them. Then all the top fitness experts gave the same opinion.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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