Fat is an important part of any balanced diet but the type of fat you eat matters the most particularly when it comes to cholesterol levels, so make sure you are avoiding the ones that cause health problems.
Manoj Acharya, food consultant at Zappfresh and Mehar Rajput, nutritionist and dietician at Fitpass tells us about the foods that are full of trans fats and are harmful to our health.
Cakes, pies and cookies (especially with frosting) : Most cakes and cookies mixes list 0 gm of trans fat on the label. But there is a catch. Manufacturers can list 0 gm if the trans fat content is under 0.5gm. Those small amounts add up when you eat multiple serving of sweets that too with frosting. An average serving of frosting contains 2 gm of trans fats, plus the same amount of sugar.
Biscuits: This one surprises a lot of people. Biscuits contain 3.5 gm of trans fats. They also contain over half of the daily recommendations of sodium.
Margarine: Most margarine makers have removed trans fats from their ingredients. But you still must check. The few that still do contain trans fats as high as 3 gm per servings.
French fries: You need to be cautious about whether they fry your French fries in Vanaspati ghee or hydrogenated fat. Though certain food chains decided to turn healthier by becoming trans-fats free, you must be careful about it. But if you are cautious about health, you shouldn’t be having French fries.
Fried chicken: Just like French fries you need to be sure that your fried chicken has not been fried in hydrogenated oil. Same goes for fried fish.
Frozen foods: People who are perpetually busy tend to pick up frozen meals from the supermarket. They are most likely to have trans-fat in them as they need to be kept preserved for a longer time.
Ice creams and Indian savouries: These contain 0.5 gm of trans fat per serving. But if you read the ingredients list, the listing of partially hydrogenated oil is missing. That may be because there are naturally occurring trans fats in fat-containing dairy products which are not as dangerous as the manufactured trans fats. These products are high in calories, so one should still keep a check on their intake. Besides this, also keep a check on all Indian savouries like gulab jamun, gujhia, ladoo and kachouri.
Popcorns: There is a good way and bad way to eat popcorn. The snack itself is a healthy whole grain packed with fibre. It is the extra add-on that gives it that trans-fat flag. Plain popcorn is fine but when you add butter to it(which is not real butter ), it becomes loaded with trans fats with no other health benefits in it.
Non-dairy creamers: For coffee lovers, non-dairy creamers can become an integral part of their morning. Over time, however, they can also add trans-fat to your diet. One serving contains 0 gm trans-fat, yet, for some flavours, partially hydrogenated oils are the second or third ingredients listed, which can add up if you drink multiple servings in a day. So keep a check on the portion size.
Sandwich spreads: Think twice before next time when you go out to have your sandwich with spreads if you have cholesterol concerns. Trans fats occur naturally in some food items like meat and while it’s not as harmful as the artificial kind added through hydrogenated oil, it doesn’t do you much good, either. Those who have heart disease, it is recommended that you choose lean meat as much as possible as well as low fat or fat-free dairy products.