Did you know that there might be poison in many of your favorite foods found on grocery store shelves everywhere? Breads, crackers, cookies, energy bars, tortillas, frozen pizza are just a few examples of these dangerous foods. The poison in these items is called partially hydrogenated fat, often referred to as trans-fatty acids.
A trans-fatty acid is usually made from a vegetable oil- corn, cottonseed, or soybean, for example- that has been treated by a process called hydrogenation to make it a solid at room temperature. Originally, when margerin first appeared in supermarkets, consumers were led to believe they could lower their risk of heart disease and cancer by replacing butter with this product. What became evident later is that the chemical process that made vegetable oil “look” like a saturated fat by solidifying caused it to act like one as well, making high levels of either fat a health risk.
Some of the harmful effects of trans-fatty acids include:
§ Cause you to store fat and burn sugar
§ Increase levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol
§ Decrease levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good” cholesterol
§ Increase your perception of pain
Thankfully, trans fats are starting to appear on nutrition information on some food products. This trend will continue to rise as the law goes into affect next year forcing brands to disclose the amount of trans fat per serving.
Still, I’m betting you will see foods advertised as “low in trans fat.” Don’t fall for it.
Small amounts of trans fats are more harmful than larger amounts of saturated fats. A small increase in saturated fats results in a 17 percent increase in coronary artery disease. A similar increase in trans fats leads to a 93 percent increase!
As a general rule, avoid all foods containing trans-fatty oils. Most of these include foods that have to sit on a shelf, such as baked goods, snack chips, some national brands of peanut butter, candy bars, cookies, etc. Even some supposedly healthy diet products that are marketed as a food to help you lose weight contain this poison!
Don’t make the mistake of eating these product just because they’re there, or because “everyone else is.” Take your health into your hands and make sure you read those labels!
Kevin is a personal trainer and triathlon coach in San Diego. He has owned a personal training company, and consulted in the fitness field for over 9 years. Author of the E-Book, The Healthy Burn, a comprehensive fat-burning plan for couch potatoes, competitive athletes, and anyone in between.