So far, we have looked at polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat and the unique type of fat found in coconut oil. Today, we will touch on trans fat.
Trans fats primarily are found in processed, boxed foods and make up a very small percentage of high fat meats. The trans fats used in processed foods are not naturally occurring — they are made in the lab by a process called hydrogenation. Initially, trans fat were great because it increased the shelf life of food to be longer than that of an average human. In years past, they discovered that trans fat acts like rat poison in the body (own exaggeration). Trans fats work to increase LDL, bad cholesterol, and decrease HDL, good cholesterol. This effect does tremendous damage to our heart and vascular health.
The FDA has banned the use of trans fat greater than 0.5 gram per serving. If you do not want any trans fat in your diet — avoid products that have anything hydrogenated in the ingredient list.
Lindsey Hester, registered dietitian
The Memorial Hospital at Craig