Tag Archives: trans fats

Fats: Not all Bad

22 Feb

I really didn’t understand fats until a few years ago.

I grew up with everyone around me saying fats were bad and fats make you fat!

I was still too young to know better, so I ordered fat free dressings on my salad, things cooked with no oils, I decided not to eat avocados, nuts and all vegetable fats! I really thought animal products were fine, as were processed foods (!?!) I had no idea what I was doing! I was letting the TV and magazine ads dictate the terrible way I was eating.

It wasn’t until I read a book about good fats that my perspective changed. This was a few years after medical school, where I heard a few things about fats, but mostly that I should stay away from them!

After reading the book I finally understood that everything in my diet was wrong. I still had a lot of research to do but I was on the right path to understand that: vegetable fats were the good fats, animal fats were mostly the bad fats and processed food fats were the terrible fats! Or as Dr. Mark Hyman says “the ugly fats.”

Good fats

Good fats are unsaturated fats. They help lower cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) and also reduce inflammation.

Some examples include:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flax seeds and flax seed oil
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Sardines

Bad Fats

These fats are saturated fats that block arteries, leading to heart disease. They cause weight gain that is liked to diabetes and have been also linked to cancer.

  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Beef
  • Butter
  • Pork
  • Chicken

Trans Fats

These are the worst of them all. They are man-made, toxic and dangerous. They increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

They are present in most processed foods like:

  • Margarine
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Frozen dinners
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Cakes

Eat mostly good fats, little amounts of saturated fats and zero trans fats!

Eat healthy, be happy!

Cognitive function: Good Diet vs. Bad Diet

8 Feb

A recent study performed with 104 elderly adults proved that diets rich in vitamins B, C, D and E and omega-3 fatty acids are associated with better cognitive function and more brain volume, this means less risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

On the contrary a diet rich in trans fats was associated with worse cognitive function and less total brain volume.

Why wait until we get older to start eating healthy, start preventing today.

 

Eat healthy, be happy!

Avoid: Trans Fats

2 Feb

What are trans fats and what seems to be all the problem with them?

Trans fats or hydrogenated fats are vegetable oils, which go through a process of hydrogenation. This means that hydrogen is added to make them solid and less likely to go rancid.

The invention started with margarine. Margarine is not a more spreadable type of butter. It is a vegetable oil that has been hydrogenated to make it spreadable. Nowadays, trans fats are found in most processed foods, they are cheap, they enhance flavors and give the products a longer shelf-life.

The problem with trans fats is that they are dangerous they increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes obesity and cancer. Other studies suggest infertility, Alzheimer’s and liver dysfunction as well.

The FDA allows companies to advertise their products as “Zero Trans Fats” as long as they have less than 0.5 grams per serving. So read the labels! There might still be trans fats in them. The common names they hide trans fats with are, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

The most common products to find them in are: margarine, crackers, chips, cookies, pizza, frozen dinners, microwave popcorn, chicken nuggets, french fries, cakes, and doughnuts.

Cities like NYC, Boston, Philadelphia and the state of California have banned trans fats from restaurants. But if you are not in these cities, chances are restaurants are cooking with these.

Cook you own food as much as possible.

And remember…

Eat healthy, be happy.