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Trans Fatty Acids

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Trans fatty acids are the fats that most people know less about, but they are the most detrimental to your health. These types of fats are also known as hydrogenated fats and are produced when liquid oils are turned into a solid- like in margarine. The irony is that trans fatty acid rich margarine was originally created as a replacement for the saturated fats found in butter. It was later found that these trans fatty acids raise cholesterol levels and may lead to all sorts of health problems when taken in excess.

Where do we find them? Hydrogenated oils are found in most margarines as well as commercially baked products, likes pie crust, pastries, cakes and biscuits as well as some chips, milky beverages and microwave popcorn.

What to do? Limit your intake of commercially baked goods and processed foods. You’re better off choosing butter over regular margarine and even better off choosing margarines that are labeled “trans fatty acid free”. However, one should seek to reduce overall intake of all three. Many other products contain trans-fats so you’ll need to read labels to see if the product uses hydrogenated oils or trans fatty acids.

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