Last night a story was run on 60 Minutes about Trans Fats. Trans Fats are the worst fat that you can have and the thing is that aren’t even natural. We don’t need them but industry, shops and even us are adding them to our food both knowingly and unknowingly.
Trans Fat is every bit as nasty as it sounds. It’s a toxic, man-made chemical used to increase the shelf life of food. To make food just marginally crisper.
As far as fats go, it’s the worst of the worst. It’s been banned elsewhere in the world, but here in Australia it’s in everything from fried food to biscuits, clogging our arteries and contributing to appalling level of heart disease.
The question is — why is something so bad for us still on the menu?
The Top 10 Trans Fats Foods
- Margarine spreads and shortening
- Fast food, often deep fried in partially hydrogenated oil
- Frozen foods, including sweet pastries, pies, sausage rolls, fish fingers and more
- Pastries, donuts, muffins and cakes
- Biscuits and cookies
- Instant noodles
- Crackers and dips
- Confectionary, lollies and chocolates
- Cereal bars and slices
10. Cake mixes, dips, sauces, and chocolate spreads
Dr Nick Cox a Cardiologist was briefly interview prior to surgery and stated that we don’t need trans fats, they don’t add any flavour to the food, they would be easy to remove and that they certainly are the worst of the bad fats. Disturbingly the trans fats start building up in our system from a young age.
In Australia they don’t even have to be listed on the label. They may be written there as something less obvious like (vegetable oil). Some healthier products are actually advertising that they’re products are trans fats free or have a miniscule percentage which is good that they are including something on there packaging but the safest level is ZERO. A daily consumption of only 5g of trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease by up to 25%.
So what is a Trans Fat?
Trans fat are oils which have been hydrogenised. In other words, chemically altered in the factory to turn them into solid blocks. And you’ll find them in mostly processed products and takeaway foods. Now, it’s the industrial processing that seems to make them so nasty, turning them into substances that tend to become sticky, stubborn deposits in our arteries. Trans fats are made in the factory. Oils are boiled to temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius. Metals are used as a catalyst to change its molecular structure and, with blasts of hydrogen, turns the liquid into a solid.
Think about this process…… now think about you cooking at home……… are you using spray canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil in your cooking? Cooking in a fry pan you are going to go over 200deg, most baking or roasting you are at high temperatures as well. By the time you get to 160 deg practically all oils are starting to change. Stop adding trans fats to your own food and potentially poisoning your family.
New York has had trans fats banned from there food for 3 & ½ years now, why isn’t there more press in Australia about this issue, why aren’t we hearing about it as an election promise?
Both Parts of Europe and America are making a move on this, as the worlds fattest nation we really should be doing something. Start in your own home, make the right choices when you eat out, shop selectively, live a healthier life with, more certified organic food, exercise and good hydration.
By Michael Berry – Personal Trainer
The full 60 Minutes story transcript by reporter Liz Hayes
Extracts from various research and articles as well