Trans fats increase "bad" LDL and lower "good" HDL cholesterol
Trans fats or hydrogenated fats are the worst kind of fatty acids that are, along with processed simple carbohydrates and hormone mimicking chemicals, the main cause of modern diseases. This includes cancer, diabetes as well as heart disease, among other.
Although many people are pointing their finger at saturated fat which can be bad in excess, the real bad guy is hydrogenated fat. Although small amount occurs naturally in meat and diary products, the highest quantities are found in industrially made hydrogenated oils.
Also, this bad fats from man-made hydrogenated oils are much more harmful than naturally occurring trans fat.
They are found in:BeefLambButter and lard
However, the worst trans fats are found in:Fried foodsMargarineCookies and pancakesSnack foodsCakes and microwave popcornsDoughnuts and other baked foodsSalad dressings and other proccesed foods
HEART DISEASE AND TRANS FATS
This type of fat can increase "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, considerably. No only that, but hydrogenated oils are also able to decrease blood levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Due to unhealthy changes in blood lipid levels, the risk of heart disease increases up to 50 percent.
The change in LDL-HDL ratio favors the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Blood vessels became narrow and clogged which causes the formation of blood clots.
As a consequence, this leads to heart attack, heart failure and eventually death. Also, frequent consumption of trans fats has been shown to drastically increase C-reactive protein which is associated with inflammatory diseases, including the ones of the cardiovascular system.
On top all of that, fats and especially hydrogenated fat, causes weight gain, particulary in the abdominal region. Obesity alone increases the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Besides eating high amounts of simple refined carbohydrates, consuming high amounts of trans fats, too often is also associated with the increased risk of diabetes. However, it seems that small amounts don't have an effect on insulin or blood sugar levels.
These fats can negatively reflect on the liver function and lead to inflammation which can cause autoimmune reaction toward the pancreas. It seems that the liver can cope with small amounts of hydrogenated fats.
However, high intake of hydrogenated oils can cause type 2 diabetes which by itself increases the risk of heart related diseases.
HOW TO AVOID TRANS FATS
First of all, avoid meats high in fat. Lean cuts of meat such as round steak and chicken breast contain very little fat which includes negligible amount of bad fats such as this. However, processed foods and hydrogenated oils are the real problem.
The best way to avoid eating crappy foods is to keep them out of sight. If they aren't in your house, you will not be tempted to eat them. So, keep cookies, chips, cakes, margarine and other bad foods far away from your fridge and kitchen shelves.
Instead, switch from hydrogenated oils to healthy oils and from cookies to fruits and fruit juices, to satisfy your desire for sweets. However, when you go out, you will have to practice a little bit of self control, in order to avoid cookies, pizza, doughnuts or ice cream.
Not only that diet rich in these kind of dietary fats can cause heart disease but it is also connected with the increased risk of cancer, dementia, depression, anxiety, arthritis and infertility.
While on one hand, trans fats improve the taste and shelf life of processed foods, on the other, they are actually endangering our health and reducing the life expectancy by causing life threatening diseases.
So, would you like to be healthy and live a long fulfilling life or enjoy in nice tasting, unhealthy foods which can cause heart disease and make your life short. Ask yourself, would you rather live to eat or you choose life over food.
I have tried both and my newly accepted approach is: Eat to live.
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