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Trans fat

Avoid Diets High in Trans Fat, Disease and Death

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 by: John M. Yarlott
Tags: trans fat, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The average American individual regularly eats some food high in Trans Fat. This may put average Americans at risk for diseases such as high cholesterol, type II diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease, Infertility, Liver dysfunction, prostate cancer, and breast cancer (3). The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than about 2 grams per day, yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that the amount of Trans Fat consumed by the average American is 5.8 grams per day. Some other countries, such as Denmark limit the amount of dietary Trans Fat to about 1 gram per day. Thus, Americans may be far more likely to have the above mentioned diseases than the citizens of Denmark.

Trans Fat and Heart Disease

Scientists have shown that Trans Fat in people's diet will increase the level of LDL (Bad cholesterol) and decrease the level of HDL (good cholesterol). LDL transports cholesterol throughout the body. Excess cholesterol may stick to the artery lining and restrict blood flow or break off and cause a blood clot. Restricting blood flow to the heart or brain can cause heart attacks or strokes (2). HDL is known as good cholesterol because it picks up excess cholesterol and transports it to the liver. Trans Fats in the blood lower the HDL, minimizing the cholesterol cleansing ability. In one study it was estimated that between 30,000 and 100,000 cardiac deaths per year in the U.S. are attributable to Trans Fat (2).

What is Trans Fat?

Artificial Trans Fat is created when vegetable oil is partially hydrogenated to give it a higher melting point. Natural Trans Fat is exists in trace amounts in meat and dairy products from ruminants (cud chewing animals).

What foods contain the most Trans Fat?

Typical foods High in Trans Fat include: Fast food burgers and fries, baked goods, shortenings, margarines, microwave popcorn, and MacDonald's thick shakes. For a complete list of foods having 1 or more grams of Trans fat per serving go to this link: Foods High in Trans Fat (http://jmyarlott.com/articles/Trans%20fat). This list gives the amount of Trans Fat in various foods sorted from highest to lowest by Grams Trans Fat per serving. The list was derived from the USDA Nutrition database SR-21 (4).

What is my daily Trans Fat limit?

For people interested in knowing their personal daily Trans Fat limit (1% of daily calories) there is a calculator here (http://foodandmortality.com/overweight/defau...) that will calculate the grams of Trans fat based on their: age, weight, height, gender, and physical activity level.


(1)Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Additional Macronutrient Recommendations

About the author

John Yarlott developed his writing skills during his career as a Mechanical Engineer with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. His work included testing jet engines and writing the test reports for use by the design and management groups. He later worked at IBM as writer of guides for computer design. He ran technical symposiums and published the hundreds of technical reports on computer packaging. John was also a store systems engineer in IBM marketing where he wrote computer programs for customers that generated reports based on transaction data in the checkout terminals. Johnís last assignment before retiring was as a technical support engineer for IBMís database software. During retirement he wrote training manuals for Microsoft Office Products at Hill & Knowlton, a division of WPP. He wrote web based data acquisition programs that captured human resources data in a MS Access database. The firm had offices in 52 countries therefore using the Internet to communicate with the database in New York was a time saving solution. Now retired for the second time, John has turned his attention to web publishing about matters of his own interest including health, nutrition, food economics, and global energy on his personal website: http://jmyarlott.com .

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