Thursday, July 3, 2008

The plastic fats: Trans Fats (Part 2 of 2)

McDonald's French FriesContinued from Part 1...

Maybe some of us are unaware of this fact, that consuming trans fats is almost like eating plastic, or swallowing chewing gum. This is because trans fats, plastic and chewing gum are all man-made products, and they are non-existent on earth. They are nearly non-biodegradable too. How come we don’t eat plastic or chewing gum but consume trans fats on the other hand?

Take a look at this video excerpt, at the bottom of this paragraph, from a documentary titled “Super Size Me,” where they carried an experiment to see how the McDonald's foods stay after 10 weeks. They purchased some McDonald’s burgers and fries, and regular burger and fries from the street, put them all inside transparent glass containers individually, and see how long the food would take to decompose. As the experiment goes on, we can see that all the buns and meats have got rotted overtime, but the fries still stay fresh looking, as if they were just being bought on the day itself. Even molds and bacteria don’t want to eat the trans fats that are covering the fries (trans fats prolong the shelf life of the fries), so why do we human beings eat them? After taking trans fats into our body, how does our body metabolize them normally? Not only trans fats can be used as source of fat, it’s also now being used as food preservative!

So, what types of foods contain trans fats?

  • Spreads, such as margarine and shortening;
  • Fast food, such as fries, fried chicken, burgers, pies, pizzas;
  • Frozen food, such as frozen pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas;
  • Baked goods, such as doughnuts, cookies, cakes, pastries;
  • Chips;
  • Crackers;
  • Popcorns;
  • Breakfast cereals;
  • Energy bars;
  • Candy

In a nutshell:
Trans fats or hydrogenated fats are artificial. They are worse than saturated fat and our bodies don’t know what to do with them. They have a double negative effect on cholesterol as they increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and decrease HDL (good cholesterol). Remember, LDL clogs our arteries while HDL helps to clear them. Can we eliminate trans fats entirely from our diet? Probably not. Instead, our goal is to have as little trans fat in our diet as possible. Happy eating!

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datahomi said...

Mc Goodness! love the name hehe McD shud consider this name for their menu..

jackietwk said...

tat mean..we mus oni eat those cooked foods??
can u list down what should we eat??cause sometimes i dunno which wan is gud for our health n body

|| Eugene Lim || said...

Hi datahomi,

The general public has known about eating fast food is not good for their health long time ago. However, how many actually stop eating it? Their craving for the fast food is much stronger than that of their health. :-P

|| Eugene Lim || said...

Hi jackietwk,

Glad to know that you're conscious about your health. Many people that I meet thought that they are exercising regularly and thus can eat whatever they want.

There is no definite answer on what to eat. In general, try to eat more whole foods, those that come in their natural form without being processed. I'll write more about food soon. Stay tuned!