Don’t eat the killer fat on your plate

If you eat the typical American diet, you’re eating too much of a killer fat linked to cancer and heart disease. It’s time to rid your meals of this unhealthy substance with some easy dietary changes.

A study at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis shows that while we are eating fewer trans fats than we did thirty years ago, we’re still eating too much.

Trans fats have been called the unhealthiest fats. And for good reason. These types of fats do bad things for your cholesterol and can make you more susceptible to tumors.

Trans fats are found in the partially hydrogenated oils added to fast food and processed food that have undergone manufacturing procedures that make them spoil less easily.

“There’s a downward trend in trans and saturated fat intake levels, but it’s clear that we still have room for improvement,” says researcher Mary Ann Honors.

The main sources of trans fats in our diet include:

  • Snack foods like potato chips, tortilla chips and microwaved popcorn.
  • Baked foods made with shortening like cookies, cakes and pie crusts.
  • Deep fried foods like donuts, french fries and fried chicken.
  • Non-dairy coffee creamer.
  • Dough that is sold refrigerated such as cinnamon rolls and pizza crusts.

Labeling regulations stipulate that if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the label can claim the food has 0 grams of trans fat. But if you eat more than what the label calls a serving, you’re probably consuming a significant amount of trans fats.

“To make your diet more in line with the recommendations, use the nutritional panel on food labels to choose foods with little or no trans fats,” Honors says.

That means don’t eat foods with hydrogenated oils no matter what the label claims about trans fat.

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.