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Did you ever ask yourself which is better to cook with: butter or margarine? And then you think it’s margarine, since it’s a vegetable source of fat, hence it's healthier. However, this is not completely true, since margarine contains high amounts of Trans fats that have been proven to have a negative effect on cholesterol levels in the blood and are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Trans fats: what are they and where are they found?
However, studies have shown that high amounts of Trans fat have a negative effect on health. What is the effect of Trans fat on our health?
How much Trans fat can you eat a day? The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of Trans fats you eat to less than 1% of your total daily calories. That means if one needs 2,000 calories a day, then he shouldn’t have more than 2 grams of Trans fats a day. However, this may prove difficult since, for example, if you consume 3 cookies then that's 2.5 g of trans fat. Or a doughnut that has 5 g of trans fat, which is already more than required, not to mention other amounts coming from dairy products and meats. What to do? Here are some practical tips that you can use every day to decrease your consumption of Trans fat:
In conclusion, you don't have to give up a favourite food due to the presence of fat, especially Trans fat, in order to have a healthy diet. The key is to balance your food intake so when a food you like is high in any of these cholesterol-raising components, choose foods that are low in the bad fats (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains) at other times of the day. And of course, don't forget to couple it with exercise for a better heart health and overall health!
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