Nutrition

Trans fatty acids, the enemies of your heart

Trans fatty acids are doubly harmful to cardiovascular health because they increase the amount of “bad” cholesterol and decrease the amount of “good” cholesterol in the blood. Foods containing it are very numerous on store shelves.

Many processed foods are likely to contain trans fatty acids because to obtain solid fats from liquid oil, the food industry uses a process called hydrogenation. This process is used to increase the shelf life of products by preventing them from becoming rancid: solid fats are less susceptible to oxidation caused by light and oxygen than vegetable oils. However, this process unfortunately also transforms some of the good fats into bad fats…

In the list of ingredients on product labels, certain words can betray their presence: “hydrogenated”, “partially hydrogenated” and “shortening” (inexpensive hydrogenated vegetable oils)

10 common prepared foods to avoid:

  • Hydrogenated margarine and shortening
  • dry cakes
  • Canned or powdered soups
  • fried foods
  • frozen meals
  • Industrial croissants and pain au chocolat
  • breakfast cereals
  • Cookies, chocolate bars and cereals
  • Pie dough
  • Ready-made sauces, dressings and whipped cream
  • To reduce your intake of trans fatty acids, here are some tips:

    Choose “non-hydrogenated” margarines. If you want to make homemade pies, prefer these margarines to shortening. Get out your best recipes and get cooking! Good homemade meals generally do not contain trans fats, unless you use commercial foods that contain them.

    When dining out, order baked, grilled or sautéed foods. Fried foods are often cooked in partially hydrogenated oil.

    Of course, it’s unrealistic to eliminate trans fatty acids entirely from your diet. But reducing its consumption is already a good boost for your heart!

    Psssssst :  Do Eggs Really Raise Cholesterol Levels?

    * Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice.

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