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Day 16: Say "No” to Trans Fat

What are Trans Fats?

You may come across naturally occurring and artificial trans fats. Naturally occurring trans fats can be found in food made from animals, such as milk and meat. Artificial trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil.

Oil with trans fats tends to be used for fried food or food at restaurants and fast food locations because the oils last longer in a fryer. It also produces an appealing taste and texture for consumers.

Although tasty, trans fats increase your risk for heart disease and stroke by raising bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lowering your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association. They recommend cutting back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and choosing lean meats and poultry without added saturated and trans fat.

How to Avoid Trans Fats

  • While grocery shopping, look closely at nutrition facts for “0 g trans fat,” and make sure “partially hydrogenated oils” isn’t listed in the ingredients.
  • Ask what oil the food is cooked in before placing your order at a restaurant.
  • Play it safe, and eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, poultry and low-fat dairy products.
  • You don’t have to completely stop traditions or give up your guilty pleasures, but try to limit them. If you have a tradition of having weekly doughnuts with your kids, try cutting it back to once a month and replace with a new weekly heart-healthy tradition, such as eating a picnic of homemade sandwiches with low-fat cheese and fruit salad in the park.


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