Trans-Fat Foods to Avoid

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Now that hunting prey, annual waits for migratory beasts and fear of famine are virtually extinct issues for most of us, we face a new food challenge-The Trans-Fat Threat!

So what are the health benefits of trans-fatty foods? None whatsoever!

Yet virtually every processed item on grocery store shelves can be suspected of having trans-fat involved at some step in production. The only way to know for sure what amounts are contained is to check product labels carefully.

Following is a list of foods you may easily encounter on an average day…all of which are best avoided, especially if high levels of bad cholesterol are of concern to you.

Although not all products in these categories will be guilty of trans-fat inclusion, it’s a good bet that seeing “0g” listed is the only indicator to trust before making your purchase.

Breakfast Cereals – Those colorful, highly sugared and overly marketed flakes, loops, puffs and clusters perk us up at the start of the day, even if the crash from a sugar high inevitably follows. But read the side panels carefully. There’s no place for trans-fat at the breakfast table. Have some fresh fruit instead.

Margarine – It’s hard to believe that stick margarine was once thought to be a healthy alternative to butter. Now we know the opposite to be true. In fact, soft margarine in tubs is even a better choice than those quarter-pound lumps of trans-fat and saturated fats. The urban legend that claims margarine is just one molecule from being plastic seals it.

Packaged Foods (frozen and otherwise) – Off-the-rack baked products as well as frozen meals are most likely to have trans-fat in their dough. Doughnuts are comforting but may be bathed in trans fat. Though convenient, it would be best to avoid the frozen pizzas and quick-bake cake mixes, too. Go “old school” and bake from scratch if you feel the urge for such goodies.

Comforting Snacks – From refrigerated cookie dough to microwave popcorn and even many commercially produced chocolates, what warms your heart could be doing your heart considerable harm. Manufacturers often substitute margarine or lard for butter. Look for heart-healthy alternatives, such as dark chocolate, fruit or nuts.

Fast Food – Many fast foods, such as chicken and fish, are fried in trans-fat to maximize profit while cutting costs. Cheesy sauces can be trans-fat laden, too. We are gradually beginning to accept that the “slow” food movement is a healthier option than “fast” food. It benefits both our minds and bodies.

So now that we have an idea of how trans-fats can sneak into our daily food consumption, let’s enjoy finding alternatives and put an end to eating these non-nutritious foods entirely.

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Lex Cavemen

LEX is the scientist. He is obsessed with understanding why and how the world around him works the way it does.

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