Trans Fats are Evil - Here are 4 Ways to Avoid them

General Press Releases Thursday August 2, 2018 15:51
Bangkok--4 Sep--Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Following the Public Health Ministry's recent ban on artificial trans fats and hydrogenated oils coming into effect in Thailand in January 2019, Thais are concerned about how this regulation will impact their own consumption. While the law originated from the World Health Organization's goal to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply because of the health risk they pose[1], social media shows there is still Thai consumer confusion around the facts: How should I know whether the foods contain any trans fats? How best to avoid them? What else can I eat?

What are trans fats and why ban them?

Artificial trans fats are types of unsaturated fats that were industrially produced in 1902[2], by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils. They have been used commercially since because they greatly reduce the manufacturing cost and make foods less susceptible to spoilage. However, studies now show the correlation between diets high in trans fats and heart disease, the world's leading cause of death[3]. Trans fats also lower the beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, while increasing harmful LDL cholesterol levels, which then increase the risk of developing heart disease or stroke[4]. Moreover, trans fats are associated with a higher risk of developing Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.

Easy tips to Avoid Trans Fats
1. Familiarize Yourself with Common Foods that Contain Trans Fats

Consuming foods containing trans fats have been proven to negatively affect your health in the long run. Unfortunately, there are quite a few foods out there that are full of them. As scary as it sounds, it is easy to spot and avoid them as trans fats are most commonly found in margarine, baked goods, fried foods, packaged snacks, cake mixes and frostings.

Most Common Foods that Contain Trans Fats:
  • Margarine
  • Donuts, pies, cookies, biscuits and cakes
  • French fries and majority of fried foods that use oils containing trans fats
  • Frozen meals
  • Non-dairy creamers
2. Easily Understand Nutritional Labels and Ingredients

All food companies and manufacturers are required to list trans fat content on nutrition labels, so just reading it can help you decide and compare options. Ideally, you should choose foods or snacks that have zero grams of trans fats. If unsure, check the ingredients list on the label for the words "Partially Hydrogenated Oils" since they indicate that there will be trans fats present.

3. Switch to Trans-fat Free Cooking Oils

When it comes to the health benefits, not all cooking oils are created equal. Since cooking oils are the essential part of cooking, it is important to choose the 'right' one. The easiest tip we have for you is simply switch to olive oil when cooking, it is healthy and tastes good. Olive oil is not only free of trans-fat, but it is actually full of heart-healthy fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). According to American Heart Association, MUFAs found in olive oil help lower LDL cholesterol levels in your blood which also greatly reduce your risk of developing heart diseases and stroke[5]. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols that have been scientifically proven to help lower cholesterol level, blood pressure and risk of developing coronary diseases[6].

4. Opt for Healthy Snacks

Snacks, when consumed in moderation are essential part of balanced diet, as they keep you energized throughout the day. Unfortunately, a lot of packaged snacks in the market are full of trans fats and you should not be snacking on them. For healthier solution, simply opt for other snack options that are free of trans fats such as unsalted almonds, sliced apples, carrot sticks or Greek yogurt – much healthier, but equally enjoyable!

About Bertolli

As the world's number one olive oil brand, Bertolli was founded in the small Tuscan town of Lucca, Italy. For 150 years, the Bertolli name has been at the heart of Italian and international cooking and eating. At the heart of the Bertolli brand is a commitment to quality, dedication to leveraging the natural goodness of ingredients and a tradition of providing outstanding and flavorful olive oils to Thailand and the world. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/BertolliTH/.


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