Saying Good-Bye to Trans Fats

In three years, trans fats added to foods will be illegal in America. The trans fat ban, announced in June, has many companies rushing to swap them out of their products. However, some products will continue to contain added trans fat up until the deadline. What can you do in the mean time?

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First, you can start by removing trans fats from your diet on your own. Trans fat consumption is strongly associated with a variety of major health issues but the exact mechanism of damage is still unknown. Currently, the leading theories are that the man-made bonds in trans fats cause them to interfere with the body’s ability to make and process other essential fats. This can cause an undesirable elevation of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). What should trans fats be replaced with? When looking for prepared foods or cooking oils, look for primarily omega-3 oils and monounsaturated fats. Cold pressed olive oil is a great example. A simple rule is to go for oils that are recognizable, like coconut, avocado or a good butter. When in doubt, go with your gut and try to avoid oils that sound like they require a ton of processing to extract, like corn or canola.

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.