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Where is all the Trans Fat Hiding?

By Sara Butler

Trans fat is lurking in places you may not have imagined possible – on your grocery store shelves, that is! Trans fat is seriously harmful to your health. In fact, it’s so bad for you that there’s no acceptable amount in a healthy diet. Here’s what you need to know about trans fat and some of the places it lurks!

The Problem with Trans Fat

The trans fat that lurks in foods is made mostly of partially hydrogenated oils. These oils are created in a process that uses hydrogen to create a solid from vegetable oils. Sounds appetizing, right? Well, companies use it to extend the shelf life of food and improve its texture and flavor. It is easily found in all kinds of processed foods such as crackers, pastries, margarine, and chips. In fact, you’ve probably been eating it for most of your life and had no idea. But all that needs to stop!

The Health Effects of Trans Fat

So, how bad is trans fat for you? Well, it raises your bad cholesterol, known as LDL cholesterol. At the same time, it lowers your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating it also increases your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. It’s just plain bad for your health – there’s nothing good about it!

Foods that Contain Trans Fat

It can be easy to pick out stuff that likely has trans fat in it. Those potato chips or mass produced honeybun, for instance – totally full of trans fat. But there are some foods that may surprise you. You can find trans fat in:

  • Peanut butter
  • Granola and other snack bars
  • Crackers
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • Frosting
  • Frozen pies and cheesecakes
  • Canned chili
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese sauce
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit snacks
  • Cereal
  • Graham crackers
  • Whipped topping
  • Pudding mix
  • Ice cream cones

What to Look For

No company is going to proudly proclaim they have trans fat in their foods! So, you have to put on your detective hat to figure out what to look for. It can get even trickier to find because a product can say it’s “trans fat-free” even if it has trace amounts. To spot hidden trans fat you should look at the ingredients list and steer clear of anything that has:

  • Hydrogenated oil
  • Partially hydrogenated oil

Pretty simple! Be on the lookout!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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