How Co I Avoid Trans Fats?

Armen Hareyan's picture
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(NC) - Trans fats, or hydrogenated vegetable oils, have come under fire recently for silently contributing to heart disease. It is a fat infused into many processed and packaged foods to preserve shelf life, appearing in chips and snacks, crackers, cookies, baking mixes, and more. Here are the answers to most frequently asked questions on trans fat content, courtesy of Added Touch by Dr. Oetker, a recognized leader in trans fat free baking products:

Q: How much trans fat is allowed in a daily diet?

A: Health and medical professionals suggest cutting all trans fats from our diets, while being cautious not to eliminate the good fats and oils. Trans fat (modified fatty acid) may even be worse than a saturated fat, the type that clogs the arteries, raises "bad" LDL cholesterol, lowers the "good" HDL cholesterol, and thereby increases the risk of heart disease, and possibly Type 2 diabetes.

Q: How do I identify a trans fat on product labels?

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A: By the end of 2005, all packaged foods sold in Canada will be required to list the amount of "trans fat" in the Nutrition Facts box, alongside the percentage of the recommended daily value. Some manufactures have done it already, and others, like Added Touch baking mixes, display a "0 Trans Fat" icon prominently on the packaging. If in doubt, scan the Ingredient list and avoid products with "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" vegetable oils" - and don't forget that trans fats are usually undisclosed in ready-made deli foods and in-store baked goods.

Q: Are baking mixes really bad?

A: A typical cake mix with ready to use icing actually contains more trans fat than 16 medium fries or 32 fast food hamburgers. When buying your baking mixes for cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies and icing, be sure to look for those that are trans fat free like Added Touch by Dr. Oetker, and also recognize that ready-made bakery items and in store baked goods could also be loaded with trans fats.

- News Canada

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