Trans Fat: Easy to gain, hard to lose

28
Aug
2020

The most unhealthy type of fat is trans fat, as trans fat increases the bad cholesterol level (Low-density lipoprotein) while reducing your good cholesterol level (High-density lipoprotein). Diet with high intake of trans fat is strongly linked to the blood vessel and heart diseases. There are so many negative impacts comes along with intake of trans fat which lead to a ban of artificial trans fat in all foods product in Singapore by Health Promotion Board starting from June 2021.

What is trans fat?

Natural trans fat: Trans fat can be found naturally from certain dairy items and meat in a small amount. However, the effect of trans fat found naturally will be harmful or benefits to your body is still unknown.

Artificial trans fat: During the food processing, the manufacturer will add hydrogen into vegetable oil which results in the oil turn to solid while at room temperature. Food cooked with this oil will have a greater shelf life.

Major sources of trans fat:

  • Deep-fried foods: chicken nugget, fries and doughnuts
  • Snack: popcorn, potato chips and chocolate bars
  • Baked products: cakes, biscuits and pies
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Margarine and vegetable shortenings
  • Convenient meals: Instant noodles and frozen pizzas

Ways to cut down on trans fat intake:

  1. Go through the food nutrition label carefully and buy the product option with no or lowest saturated fat
  2. Avoid the purchase of snacks and junk food
  3. Eat more vegetables and fruits and cut down on red meats as they contain natural trans fat
  4. Pick healthier cooking oils like sunflower and olive oil
  5. Buy products with Healthier Choice Symbol

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Reference: Healthhub.sg.2020. 5 Things to Start Doing Now That Artificial Trans Fat Has Been Banned [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/2067/5-things-to-start-doing-now-that-transfat-has-been-banned

Mayo Clinic. 2020. Trans Fat: Double Trouble For Your Heart. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114>