Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hidden Menaces Part 1: Trans-Fats

Scores of people in the nation buy heaps of packaged foods every day.  Whether it is from a wholesaler like Costco or a basic grocery store such as Alberston's, it is important that parents keep their guards up against these hidden menaces in some of their children's favorite foods.

Hydrogenated Oils oils contain the notorious trans-fats, and are most commonly found in peanut butter, margarine, and other frozen packaged foods.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, trans-fats raise "bad" cholesterol levels, and lowers "good cholesterol" levels.  They also state that it causes inflammation, which is an "interactivity of the immune system that has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions." In animals, it was found that trans fats increased risk of obesity and caused resistance to insulin.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils are the result of processing a once healthy oil in intense heat under heavy pressure.  The result is that the oils will last longer for manufacturers.  The down-side is, trans-fats run rampant.  Trans-fats are commonly accepted in the medical community as being one of the top causes of Coronary Heart Disease, the most leading cause of death in men and women.  Heart Disease can start decades before it is fully progressed.  Your children's dieting habits now can heavily affect their outcome in the future.

The Solution?  Read labels!  It is often a misconception that all peanut butters or all frozen food have this ingredient.

Warning: Labels claiming to be "trans-fat free" are often deceptive.  The FDA regulations state that a product containing less than 0.5g of trans fats can actually be labeled as having no trans-fats!  Be on the look-out for the terms "partially hydrogenated" and "shortening" in the ingredient list.

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