Facts About Cholesterol and Fats
The Lowdown on Trans Fats
Hydrogenated fats are liquid vegetable oils made creamy when manufacturers convert some of the unsaturated fats into saturated ones through a process called "hydrogenation." This process also rearranges the molecular shape of the remaining unsaturated fats. The resulting shape is an abnormal "trans" shape.
Trans fatty acids constitute up to 60% of the fat in processed foods containing hydrogenated fats. TFAs raise blood cholesterol levels and increase heart disease risk even more than saturated fats. Knowing your fats gives you an edge when it comes to buying and preparing the right foods to eat. And when you steer away from the saturated fats and trans fatty acids, you can live a heart-healthy life. The bottom line is:
- Eat less saturated fat and avoid trans fats completely.
- Use olive oil, but in moderation if you're watching your weight.
- Fill your plate with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and legumes.