There are as many opinions on healthy eating as there are people in need of wanting to lose weight. While opinions on food groups and their benefits could be conflicting, there is unanimous agreement on the unhealthy nature of trans fats. Trans fats have a huge role to play in how flabby your middle is. While some fats are good for us, trans fats may be the worst for your well-being. The first step in winning a battle is getting to know the enemy…
Talking Trans Fat
Trans fat, also called trans-unsaturated fatty acids or trans fatty acids, is a type of unsaturated fat. These types of fats are available in two forms: a) natural, and b) artificial.
a)Natural Trans Fats –
This type of fat is produced by bacteria in the guts of animals such as sheep, cows, buffaloes and goats and is found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, beef, lamb and chicken (1, 2).
b) Artificial Trans Fats –
As the name suggests, artificial trans fats are produced artificially through an industrial process by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to enhance their shelf-life (3).
Though data to corroborate this is insufficient, natural trans fats seem less dangerous than artificial trans fats (4, 5, 6).
Tackling Trans Fats
It is important to get serious about the potential risks of trans fats and the multiple health problems they may lead to. Consider the following findings and research:
- Consumption of trans fats may enhance your abdominal fat deposits and cause weight gain, even without similar calorie intake (7).
- Trans fats may also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke (3, 8).
- One of the most harmful effects of unhealthy trans fats is that they cause a rise in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL). And, these two are the main types of cholesterol. This means trans fats have an unhealthy effect on cholesterol levels (3).
- While, the link between trans fats and high blood sugar levels is not clear, several studies have shown that large amounts of trans fats may negatively affect insulin and glucose function (9, 10, 11, 12).
- Trans fats may also cause a slew of health issues from obesity, disorders of the nervous system, and allergy (7).
There is conclusive evidence to prove that trans fats are dangerous for your heart. These are now considered to be a trigger for weight gain and abdominal fat. So, now the question is, where do you look for these pesky villains, and how do you avoid them? Here are a few tips to help you reduce trans fat for a slim belly and healthy body…
What To Eat
- When you select dairy products, try to choose low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products. These are considered a part of a healthy diet as they have amazing health benefits such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular problems and supporting healthy cholesterol levels (13).
- The number of trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol, are lower in vegetable oils (such as soybean oil, walnuts and flaxseed oil, corn oil, and canola oil) and soft margarine as compared to other hard margarine and animal fats (7).
- Instead of consuming meat, opt for fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel, and salmon, that contain high-level of omega-3 fatty acids. These may also promote a healthy heart (14, 15).
- Lean red meat and poultry are also good options to reduce trans fat. Lean meat may contain healthy fats, a good source of protein, Vitamin B12, zinc and iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. Similarly, poultry has essential linoleic and alpha-linolenic fatty acids (16, 17, 1).
What Not To Eat
- When it comes to choosing food, try to read the label carefully to avoid foods with trans fats (18).
- Try to reduce the consumption of manufactured foods including baked foods (cakes, cookies, and crackers), snack foods (potato chips, fried potatoes and popcorn), and processed foods such as fast food (7, 18).
- Processed dairy products may also contain trans fats. So, try to avoid ice creams and other unhealthy dairy products with trans fats. (1, 3)
It is clear that trans fat-free foods are good for maintaining healthy weight and also for our overall health. Especially if you are working for a flat belly, successfully adopting some or all of these strategies discussed in this article may help you lose extra pounds around your waist. Moreover, you can join My Fat Belly Gotta Go Party to accelerate your weight loss. This is a social support group where you will get in touch with people who are also in their weight loss journey or have achieved success. This is a great way to stay positive and motivated towards your goal.
Start it today with MY FAT BELLY GOTTA GO PARTY!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- Aro, A., et al. “Transfatty acids in dairy and meat products from 14 European countries: the TRANSFAIR study.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 11:2 (1998): 150-160. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157598905701
- O’Donnell-Megaro, A. M., D. M. Barbano, and D. E. Bauman. “Survey of the fatty acid composition of retail milk in the United States including regional and seasonal variations.” Journal of dairy science. 94:1 (2011): 59-65. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21183017
- “Trans fat is double trouble for your heart health”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114
- Bendsen, Nathalie Tommerup, et al. “Consumption of industrial and ruminant trans fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies.” European journal of clinical nutrition. 65:7 (2011): 773. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21427742
- Mozaffarian, Dariush, Antti Aro, and Walter C. Willett. “Health effects of trans-fatty acids: experimental and observational evidence.” European journal of clinical nutrition. 63: S2 (2009): S5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19424218
- Gebauer, Sarah K., et al. “Effects of ruminant trans fatty acids on cardiovascular disease and cancer: a comprehensive review of epidemiological, clinical, and mechanistic studies.” Advances in nutrition. 2:4 (2011): 332-354. https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/2/4/332/4591508
- Dhaka, Vandana et al. “Trans fats-sources, health risks and alternative approach – A review.” Journal of food science and technology. 48:5 (2011): 534-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551118/
- Sun, Qi, et al. “A prospective study of trans fatty acids in erythrocytes and risk of coronary heart disease.” Circulation. 115.14 (2007): 1858-1865. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.679985
- van Dam, Rob M., et al. “Dietary patterns and risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus in US men.” Annals of internal medicine. 136:3 (2002): 201-209. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11827496
- Axen, Kathleen V., Aphrodite Dikeakos, and Anthony Sclafani. “High dietary fat promotes syndrome X in nonobese rats.” The Journal of nutrition. 133:7 (2003): 2244-2249. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12840187
- Ibrahim, Ahamed, and Saravanan Natarajan. “Dietary trans–fatty acids alter adipocyte plasma membrane fatty acid composition and insulin sensitivity in rats.” Metabolism. 54:2 (2005): 240-246. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15789505
- Natarajan, Saravanan, and Ahamed Ibrahim. “Dietary trans fatty acids alter diaphragm phospholipid fatty acid composition, triacylglycerol content and glucose transport in rats.” The British journal of nutrition. 93:6 (2005): 829-833. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16079026
- Huth, Peter J, and Keigan M Park. “Influence of dairy product and milk fat consumption on cardiovascular disease risk: a review of the evidence.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.). 3:3(2012): 266-85. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649459/
- Tørris, Christine et al. “Nutrients in Fish and Possible Associations with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Metabolic Syndrome.” Nutrients. 10:7 (2018):952. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073188/
- Peter, Soumia et al. “A fish a day, keeps the cardiologist away! – A review of the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in the cardiovascular system.” Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism. 17:3 (2013): 422-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712371/
- Li, Duo, et al. “Lean meat and heart health.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 14:2 (2005): 113-119. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15927927
- Marangoni, Franca et al. “Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document.” Food & nutrition research. 59:10(2015): 27606. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462824/
- “Tips to lower trans fat intake”. Harvard T.H. Chan. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2012/07/28/tips-to-lower-trans-fat-intake/