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Trans fats: Their health hazards and where to find them

Trans fats are considered part of the unsaturated fats category. However, they have undergone an industrial process called “hydrogenation” which aims to make these oils more consistent and stable and to extend their shelf life so that they become easier to use by industrial manufacturers of commercial food products.

Trans fats are dangerous to our health, especially to the heart and blood vessels. They increase bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and lower good cholesterol (HDL) levels, and this leads to increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in a significant way.

Trans fats can be found, for instance in ready meals, canned soups, breakfast cereals, candies, pastries, sweets, pie crusts, biscuits, cereal bars, etc.

But how to reveal their existence in a product? If the list of ingredients includes any of these terms: “Hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “Shortening”, you should know that such a product contains trans fats. And the more such terms are listed first, the more their quantity is higher in such a product. The important thing is to read the ingredients list and to choose, as much as possible, food products that are “0 g Trans Fat” (this should be clearly mentioned on the package).

About Denise Abou Jamra

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