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Trans Fats Adding Inches to the Waistline

t a two per cent increase in energy intake from trans fats is linked to a 23 per cent increase in cases of coronary heart disease.

Trans fats are a result of vegetable oil being heated to super-high temperatures followed by bubbling of hydrogen through it, a compound that had new chemical bonds similar in structure to plastic with a high melting point and a long shelf life. Trans fats are thus generally used because they are considered to be economical.

In Denmark the law requires manufacturers to label trans fats on all food labels with its maximum allowed content being two per cent of them. The Americans have followed suit since January this year.

In UK manufacturers are still not required by law to list the trans fats content of food. Thereby scientists advise avoiding fried foods, margarine pastries, pies, popcorn, biscuits, and any other products that contain hydrogenated oil.

David Zinczenko's book, The Abs Diet advises the following method to determine a food’s trans fat content: ‘Add the fat grams together that are listed on the label, and subtract that number from the total fat content. The number left is the estimate for the amount of trans fat in the food.’

Trans fats increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol and are considered to increase the risk of coronary heart disease ten-fold more than saturated fats.

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