Being heart smart starts with minimizing the intake of trans fats. There are two types of trans fats found in foods:
1. Naturally-occurring: Present in minimal quantity in milk and meat products
2. Artificial: Industry produced, by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid
What happens if you don’t?
1. Trans fats raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, and lower good (HDL) cholesterol levels
2. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke
3. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Even small amounts of trans fats can harm your health. For every 2% of calories from trans fats consumed daily, the risk of heart disease goes up by 23%
How does it work?
A simple step-by-step approach will help you get trans fats out of your dietary regime
1. Start reading nutritional fact labels: Look for the trans fat content and other names for trans fats – hydrogenated vegetable oils, or partially hydrogenated oils
2. Reduce the intake of processed foods
3. Minimize eating out, and have fewer take-away meals
4. Avoid buying frozen, ready-to-cook meals, both veg and non-veg
5. Opt for home cooked meals which are loaded with good quality proteins, in combination with fresh fruits and vegetables
Here’s how to drop the trans fat content in your meals. Just minimize the intake of the following:
1. Bakery products: Cakes, pastries, cookies, pies, biscuits, etc.
2. Margarine, Non-dairy table butter and creamers, whipped cream, sandwich spreads, salad dressings, and peanut butter
3. Microwave popcorn
4. Fast foods: Fried meats, paneer, fried potato products, etc.
5. Store bought Indian desserts and savories: Gulab jamun, gujiyas, laddus, bhujia, etc.
6. Ice creams and frozen desserts