Are you used to grabbing a muffin for a quick energy boost? How about munching on a donut to fill your stomach until you can get home to eat? You may be filling up on trans fats and increasing your bad cholesterol (LDL).
Trans fats increase our bad cholesterol (LDL), and decrease our good cholesterol (HDL), making them the worst kind of fat for your heart health. According to Health Canada, Canadians consume about 8.4 grams of trans fats daily. That's bad news according to the World Health Organization and the National Academy of Sciences.
Trans fats are very useful in the fast-food industry because they are a very stable fat for repeated bouts of deep-frying. Trans fats are also found in processed or packaged foods because they increase product shelf life.
Their abundance in our food chain makes it almost impossible to consume no trans fats. The goal is to reduce trans fat consumption. Here are some tips to decrease your trans fat intake:
Eat less processed foods
Bake your own muffins using healthy oils such as olive, canola or sunflower oil.
Enjoy fresh rather than fried
Choose wraps, pitas, subs and sandwiches made with whole grain breads.
Limit fast food
Pack meals and snacks from home and avoid the inherent trans fats in most fast food products.
If you want crackers, choose low fat crackers such as WASA bread, Ryvita crackers or Stone Wheat Thins. And keep nutritious snacks handy. Try eating nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, yogurt, homemade muffins, fig newtons, graham wafers and air-popped popcorn instead of doughnuts, cookies, chips, microwave popcorn or chocolate bars.
Diane Britton is the University's on-campus registered dietitian
For an individual nutrition appointment, call the Health Centre (SU020) at
403-329-2484. Initial sessions are $40.
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