What are trans fats?
Trans fats can be formed naturally or produced through food processing. Most trans fats are formed during the process of hydrogenation of vegetable oils – an industrial process that converts liquid oil into solid fat. It is mainly used to prolong the shelf life of food products and ensures food such as cookies stay crispy.
Which foods contain trans fats?
Foods such as beef, mutton and diary products contain small amounts of natural trans fats that are not considered harmful. However, artificial trans fats can also be found in margarine, cooking oil, cake shortening, pies, ice cream and cookies. Deep-fried foods also contain high levels of trans fats.
How are artificial trans fats harmful?
Research conducted has shown that artificial trans fats are one of the worst kinds of fat for the heart, ranking above saturated fats. Trans fats reduce the good cholesterol in your body and this in turn increases the risk of heart disease. It blocks up the arteries that lead to the brain and heart, resulting in heart attack and stroke.
How much trans fats can you safely consume?
While consuming any trans fats are not good, the accepted daily limit is no more than 2g per 100g. This limit is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In general, WHO recommends that the daily intake of trans fats should not exceed 1 per cent of total calories.
How can you reduce your intake of trans fats?
Use less oil when cooking at home. If possible, try to avoid frying your food and use healthier cooking methods such as baking or steaming. Margarine, butter and kaya also contain trans fats and should be used sparingly. If you constantly eat out, try to limit your consumption of fried foods and high-fat bakery products such as pastries and cakes. If you would like to seek expert advice on a nutritious and healthy diet, book an appointment with our nutritionist and dietitian now.
Call our friendly medical concierge at +65 6679 7867 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be on hand to assist you.