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Reduce Cholesterol By Lowering Your Trans Fat Intake

Before you read, I just want to let you know that there is no chemical engineering stuffs inside this article. I just posted this article as a reminder for me, my family and all of you. Let's live healthily.

Recently we can observe occasionally people died from heart attack. One of the main reason for this is due to the cholesterol inside the blood. I'm very much concern about this nowadays and have been taking some steps in further understanding what food to consume and which to avoid.

Believe it or not, much of the processed food that we eat today will have some form of trans fat in them. Trans fats give more taste to a food and act as a preservative to certain foodstuffs ensuring that they have a longer shelf life. Thus they appeal to the consumer and the retailer of foodstuffs and have been phenomenally successful in the food industry. It is only in the last 20 years that research has concluded that Trans fats have detrimental affects on our health and can lead to high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease. In many countries there are moves to limit or ban the use of trans fats in food. This article will discuss what trans fats are and how reducing them will lead to lowering cholesterol levels.

Trans fat was developed in the early 20th century by hydrogenating plant oil. Hydrogenation is formed by injecting hydrogen into oil to partially solidify it. This changes the characteristics of the oil, meaning that it has a higher melting point and does not oxidize as rapidly. Trans fat is easier and cheaper to produce than an equivalent fat that comes from an animals.

In terms of cholesterol, trans fat is thought to lower the amount of high density lipoproteins (HDL), sometimes referred to as 'good cholesterol'. Lipoproteins are responsible for transporting cholesterol through the blood stream. The 'good cholesterol' or HDL are thought to transport cholesterol to the liver where it is excreted as bile. If your HDL is lower, it cannot perform this vital function. Trans fat also raises your low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels or 'bad cholesterol'. This LDL is responsible for excess plaque buildup in your arteries which can cause decreased blood flow to the major organs and high blood pressure. Excess plague on the walls of the arteries can break free and cause blockages. A block in blood reaching vital organs like the brain or heart can lead to strokes or heart attacks.

You should avoid food that have trans fats in. Read the labels of all the foodstuffs that you buy. I do this whenever I do grocery shopping with my wife. Check out if they have trans fat in them. If they do not list the trans fat look for partially hydrogenated oil, that is another name for trans fat on food labels

Get to know the types of foods that contain or use trans fats. Popular food that use trans fats in cooking are cakes, biscuits and cookies. Other things include dough nuts, microwave popcorn and many deep fried foods from take aways.

If you have high cholesterol you will be advised to try to eat fresh food in your diet. The less processed food the better. It's tough because we are very much used to eating processed food but we need to try. I know this because I'm struggling to eat fresh food - fruits and vegetables. However, this should be applied to everyone not just people trying to reduce cholesterol levels. Eat more lean meats, fish, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Following a non-trans fat diet will help to lower your cholesterol. A positive by-product of following such a diet will be that you eat healthier and fresher food.

Let's live a better and healthy live... ;)

Image credited to: http://www.salmonellablog.com/2005/11/articles/salmonella-watch/vegetables-fruits-cause-more-food-illnesses/

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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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