How to Keep Trans Fats at Bay
The following checklist is a sure help for consumers who want to avoid trans fats in their daily food consumption:
- Read the food label carefully.
- Check the ingredient list. Do not purchase a food product that has hydrogenated fats in them.
- Check for the trans-fat-free logo on the food label. FSSAI has launched an initiative through which consumers can identify trans-fat-free food items. However, for food manufacturers, this is voluntary participation. On the other hand, a trans-fat-free logo can be displayed by sweet shops/ bakeries/ local food outlets that prepare food items without trans fats or have preparations that have less than 0.2 g of trans fats per 100 g/ 100 ml of the food.
- Choose liquid vegetable oils over solid fat for preparing food items.
- Limit the consumption of commercially prepared baked foods like biscuits cookies, pies, snacks, etc. Choose food from a trans-fat-free food outlet.
- Limit the consumption of deep-fried foods as many restaurants use partially hydrogenated oils. Choose food from a trans-fat-free food outlet.
- Food labels in India could be labeled as “trans-fat-free”, only if they have 0.2 g of trans fats per 100 g/ 100 ml of the food item. Trans-fat-free does not mean that the food does not have any amount of trans fats. Portion size must be kept in mind while consuming such food items.
BETTER TO KNOW
Repeated reheating of oil can increase the trans fats content of the oil. Because:
- Unsaturated fats are repeatedly heated
- Unstable bonds in unsaturated fats are broken after being exposed to heart an oxidation
- Stable bonds are formed turning unsaturated fats into trans fats
*Note that stir-frying increases the formation of trans fatty acids, relatively more than any other method. Deep frying at high temperature and repeated usage of cooking oil after reheating it also produce trans fats.
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