The Bad Kind of Fat
I’m Yvonne – A registered dietitian at Mindful Medicine.
To start off, I'd like to wish
everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (A little premature, I know... but can you tell I'm excited?)
I'm sure a lot of us are excited, especially to indulge in those delicious family feasts. BUT given the holiday's approaching, I thought today was the perfect day to talk all about fat, the bad kind of fat ...
T R A N S F A T
* cue horror music*
Okay so to start this off, I thought I'd share my personal horrific Trans fat story.
Last week, my dear husband bought me a box of coconut ice cream.
sweet right? (no pun intended)
& let me tell you, I devoured the delicious ice cream without reading the nutritional label (yikes!). Yes, I know ice cream is high in sugar and saturated fat, but once in a while I like to have some with my family!
Right when I was about to compliment my husband for his great buy, I realized that I hadn’t read the nutritional information yet. The moment I saw the amount of trans fat I nearly choked. I read it over and over again. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The label said there were 7 grams of trans fat per 1/2 serving.
S E V E N GRAMS!! This is an enormous amount of Trans fat for a serving of ice cream.
Eating this kind of ice cream on a regular basis would definitely put your long term health at risk.
& there you have it, my terrifying Trans fat story & the inspiration behind this month's newsletter. So, I thought I'd start right at the beginning
What is trans fat?
Trans fat stands for trans-hydrogenated fatty acids.
Meat and dairy products may contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fat. But most Trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature.
& why on Earth would anyone do that?
Well, this partially hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Some restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in their deep fryers, because it doesn't have to be changed as often as do other oils. (Mayo Clinic)
Which foods contain Trans fat?
Many commercial products contain Trans fat. The problem is not all products we buy commercially have labels on them such as baked goods like pastries, pies and cookies.
When they do have labels it may not say Trans fat but ‘disguised’ as partially hydrogenated oil (extremely sneaky, I know), so you have to be a detective when reading labels.
Okay disclaimer, I might break your heart with this next part , but I promise knowing this is defintely better for your health!
Snacks. Potato, corn and tortilla chips often contain trans fat. And while popcorn can be a healthy snack, many types of packaged or microwave popcorn use trans fat to help cook or flavor the popcorn.
Fried food. Foods that require deep frying — french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken — can contain trans fat from the oil used in the cooking process.
Refrigerator dough. Products such as canned biscuits and cinnamon rolls often contain trans fat, as do frozen pizza crusts.
Creamer and margarine. Nondairy coffee creamer and stick margarines also may contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. (Mayo clinic)
How does trans fat affect your health?
Trans fat undermines your health in the long term. It can increase your risk of stroke and diabetes.Trans fat can elevate the "bad cholesterol" called LDL (low density lipoprotein), and lower the "good cholesterol" known as HDL (high density lipoprotein). Having high HDL and low HDL can increase the risk of developing heart disease.
Scary, isn’t it?
How much trans fat do I need in my diet?
You do not need trans fat for your health, so you want to keep, this as
l o w as possible.
According to Health Canada, a ban on trans fat will come into force from September 15, 2018.
This is great news.
Canadian researchers estimate that over 20 years, this could prevent
12,000 heart attacks.
Before the Trans fat ban comes into effect, we as consumers need to proactively read the nutrition facts on the label when buying packaged foods, to ensure no Trans fat sneak onto our plates.
Okay so, we know we have to actively read labels but have you ever wondered how to read the nutrition information on the label correctly?
At Mindful Medicine, we’re offering a variety of education sessions related to nutrition and chronic disease prevention and management - including a label-reading session. Please feel free to call or walk in to our clinic to find out more!