Renuka began to feel sluggish and sleepy through the day. Inspite of eating what she felt was a healthy diet, she constantly lacked energy. Renuka’s doctor sent her for a medical check-up and the results showed that she had developed thyroid problems. Renuka was surprised, but on an examination of her diet, it was found that Renuka was eating certain foods daily which she thought were healthy but they were high in trans fats.
What are trans fats?
Cooking oil is put through a process called ‘hydrogenation’ which solidifies it. This solid oil – now called trans fats – is used for cooking in mass manufacturing units and as an ingredient in many processed foods.
Why are trans fats bad for me?
A human diet can consume a certain quantity of natural fats such as that found in dairy and animal products. Trans fats are artificially created and thus our body cannot digest them as easily.
A diet high in trans fats can cause thyroid problems, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how best you can limit your intake of these fatty acids.
What are the foods I should avoid?
Avoiding delicious food can seem an impossible task. Moreover, it is normal to feel the urge to tuck into something tasty every now and then. The main goal is to avoid an intake of trans fats daily, in different forms. Here is a list of 10 common foods that are very high in trans fats. You can pick an occasional treat from the list below and make sure you’re eating right daily.
Biscuits may be an easy breakfast when you are on a tight schedule. However, these tiny treats can contain over 2 grams of trans fats per biscuit. That’s honestly a lot. Skip biscuits in favour of multigrain bread.
Margarine has long been marketed as a healthy substitute for butter. However, this delicious spread is known to have trans fats. These days you do get zero trans fat margarine so check the label before you buy.
Most of your favourite frozen snacks including sausages, nuggets, cheese balls, and burger patties are high in trans fats. Preparing them at home doesn’t lessen the damage to your body. Try to limit these snacks to once or twice a week.
Readymade cake and cookie mixes often have a generous dose of added trans fats. Even if the packet mentions 0 trans fats, it means that the product might have a small quantity of trans fats under 0.5 grams. If you mix jelly, chocolate, and frosting into the cake, you significantly increase your intake of trans fats.
Shocking but true. Your favourite movie-time snack is not so healthy after all. Some studies have shown that microwaveable popcorn can contain upto 5 grams of trans fats per serving. That is way more than the recommended daily intake of 2 grams.
Crispy fried chicken might be the perfect comfort food. However, batter-fried foods usually contain high levels of trans fats. Preparing the batter at home is a healthy and safe alternative. However, be wary of deep fried snacks like fries, cutlets, samosas, and chicken at take-outs and fairgrounds.
Your non-dairy creamer might be a handy accompaniment to your noon coffee, however, it might be very bad for you. Your coffee creamer can contain almost 1 gram of trans fat per tablespoon. That is a lot, considering that your daily intake of trans fat should not exceed 2 grams.
Frozen dinners that are microwaveable are usually high in trans fats. Ever wonder how that frozen paratha has such a soft texture? It’s due to the high trans fat content. The same logic applies for frozen gravies and other similar meals.
Most leading peanut butter brands state ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils’ as one of their ingredients. This simply means they contain trans fats. While a little bit won’t harm you, considering the number of manufactured foods already containing fatty acids, do limit your intake of this snack.
Unfortunately, your favourite dessert often comes with a high level of trans fats. While local brands may not have trans fats beware of packaged ice creams that are sold in supermarkets as these often have high amounts of trans fats.
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