Thursday, May 14, 2009

Avoid trans fats Lower Cholesterol

Trans fats are ubiquitous in baked goods such as cookies and cakes. French fries are also high in them. Even cereals can contain trans fats. Trans fats are not only raise LDL cholesterol but lower HDL cholesterol as well thereby being doubly unhealthy unlike other fats. This increases the risk of plaque build up in arteries. In addition trans fat can increase triglycerides which lead to hardening and thickening of artery walls. Trans fat has also been shown to increase Lp(a) lipoprotein levels which may increase the risk of heart disease. It also appears that trans fatty acids damage blood vessel lining causing inflammation.

Trans fats are created by passing hydrogen through oil. This helps to preserve food longer and have a less oily feel. Foods containing partially hydrogenated oils or shortening will contain trans fatty acids.

It is important to carefully check labels to avoid trans fats. It should be noted that if a product has 0.5gms trans fat, it can be labelled as having 0gms of trans fat. Several servings of that product could easily build up the total amount of trans fat consumed. It is recommended that no more than 1% of your total calorie intake be trans fat. So for a diet of 2000 calories, the maximum limit of trans fat should be 2 grams. A large serving of french fries can contain as much as 5 grams of trans fat.

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