As we look for ways to becoming healthier as a society, with health experts sharing insights and information with the public, even more hazards to our health are exposed. When they come to light it is often shocking to learn that these health hazards have been known about for months, even years before information about them was ever released to the public. Hopefully public outcry over lapses between when health hazards are discovered and the information presented publicly, will cause some much needed changes in the reporting of health hazards. Trans fat has made it to the front of the pack of health hazards being reported on most recently, because of the decision of a popular fast food chain to stop using trans-fats in the preparation of their foods. Trans-fat endangers the health of more people than cigarettes (which are skilled killers in their own right) because trans-fats are in many of the foods we eat.
Trans-fat is often referred to as trans- fatty acid. On food labels trans-fats are often listed by yet another name, hydrogenated oil. This is a particular kind of fat that forms when liquid fats such as oils are turned into solid fats like shortening, and certain brands of margarine. Foods that are made from animals also contain trans-fat, but in miniscule amounts. What foods are you most likely to find trans fats? As already mentioned some brands of margarine contain trans-fat and solid oil such as shortening certainly does. Cookies, crackers, snacks and foods containing hydrogenated oils are others trans-fat carriers. Foods that are fried in partially hydrogenated oils such as those in fast food restaurants also contain large amounts of trans-fat.
Trans-fat endangers a person’s health by raising the amount of unhealthy cholesterol in the body to dangerous levels. Trans-fat also hinders the production of good cholesterol by the body. High levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the body severely impacts one’s health. Trans-fat acts as a clogging agent in arteries preventing blood from being able to properly flow through the arteries to other parts of the body. This deprives the body of the blood it needs to keep working properly. Heart disease, strokes, cardiac arrhythmia and even death can all happen because of the clogging of the arteries. Unhealthy cholesterol raises the effects of trans-fatty acids in the body.
Choose foods that do not contain the trans-fats that can endanger your health. Get into an exercise program to reverse the effects that have already occurred to your health by years of consuming these trans-fats. Teach children as early as possible how to make good food choices so that trans-fats will not endanger their health. Eliminating trans-fat from your diet will improve your overall health as well as the length of your life. Get off the fast track to an early death by eliminating trans-fat from your diet. Read food labels carefully before buying and skip those containing trans-fats. Before long, making better food choices for your health will be a habit that you do not even have to think about, it will just come automatically to you.
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