When it comes to trans fat, experts believe that we might as well be eating poison. That's right: there's simply no upside when it comes to trans fats. They're essentially a heart attack in food form - far more so than the normal American diet of high fat, low nutritional foods.
Understanding the facts about trans fat foods helps you protect yourself, and your family, from this nutritional nightmare.
What is trans fat?
Trans fat is a manmade substitute for traditional animal fats. When they first came up with this ingenious little product, the intention was to create a lower fat alternative to foods like butter. You probably remember from when you were a kid: margarine was always touted as a lower fat, healthier alternative to anything made from cream.
As it turns out, the exact opposite is true. While no fat is exactly wonderful for you, and animal fat is significantly worse than omega 3 fatty acids, trans fat is the worst of all.
Understanding trans fat foods
So what's a consumer savvy type like you to do? Get the facts, of course! Learn where trans fat is found, and how to avoid it.
First of all, understand that the only safe amount of trans fat you can consume is none. Numerous studies show that this isn't like sugar, where it isn't the healthiest thing around but will be okay in moderation. This stuff is a heart attack waiting to happen.
So here are the most common places you'll find trans fats: pretty much any fried foods, boxed baked goods, and some margarines, especially stick margarine. Always check the labels (you'll be amazed how many foods contain this tasty but deadly additive).
Also watch out for the term partially hydrogenated oil. If trans fat foods contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, they are legally considered trans fat free - in spite of research that suggests this is still a dangerous amount of this fatty substance.
Knowing these trans fat facts help you make healthy decisions for you and your family.