Trans Fats in the Modern Diet

In Blog by Amanda Chong

Hydrogenated oil is the biggest source of trans fats.  They are cheap, have a long shelf life and help increase flavour stability of foods.  For these reasons, they are found in all sorts of processed food.

Hydrogenation is a process in which a liquid vegetable oil is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen molecules. During this processing, a type of fat called “trans fat” is made.

Why are trans fats bad?

The hydrogenation process changes the fat into trans fat, and the lipase enzymes in our body are not able to break down trans fats effectively.  Although not all trans fats stay forever in the body (that being said, most of them do stay forever), the ill effects they cause leave a lasting impact.

Trans fats raise Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) levels, which increases our risk of heart disease.  Trans fats also lower High Density Lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) levels.  HDL helps remove cholesterol from the blood vessels, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. This coupled effect on cholesterol levels makes trans fat double trouble when it comes to the health of our heart.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, consuming trans fat can cause inflammation in the body, which may increase your risk of many conditions such as premature aging, autoimmune conditions, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, trans fats sabotage the body’s natural cleansing and detoxifying processes.

Where are trans fats found?

Trans fats are everywhere, unfortunately. Here are the top three areas:

The pastry: bread, cookies, crackers, pies, pancakes and waffle mixes, cake mixes, sweet rolls. A majority of them are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening, which have a longer shelf life and flavour stability.

The creamy: do you take your coffee with artificial creamer? Ever decorated a cake with packaged icing? What about the ice-cream that you purchase at the supermarket?  Most of these items use partially hydrogenated oils to help enhance the “creaminess” of the product.

The crunchy: some of the tastiest snack foods are foods that we should just avoid entirely, items such as microwavable popcorn, frozen fried foods and almost all of the most popular cookies and crackers contain trans fats.

Although many of us check food labels for trans fats, we may not realize that even if the label reads, “Trans fats 0 gram per serving,” that does not necessarily mean zero.  By regulation, manufacturing companies that produce foods containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving can round that number down to zero. So, we might actually be getting 0.4 grams of trans fats per serving, even though the label reads 0 gram.  Half a gram doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up fast—especially for young children or those who consume multiple servings at a time.

In short, read the ingredients list even when the label reads “Trans fats 0 gram per serving”.  Look for the warning terms such as “hydrogenated oils” or “partially hydrogenated oils”.  If a food contains hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oils, it contains trans fats.

In order to really avoid trans fats, the best thing you can do is to eliminate processed foods from your diet.  Choose real butter instead of margarine; use coconut oil in cooking and baking; stick to fresh, whole foods and bring home foods that are as close to their original state as possible; make time for home-cooked meals prepared from scratch, like how your grandparents would have done.


How to get rid of the trans fats in the body?

  • You need to cleanse and detoxify your body to begin the process of eliminating trans fats from your body.
  • Restructure your diet to increase intake of fibre and enzyme-rich juices.
  • For a healthy body, between 20 and 35 percent of your total daily calories should come from fat.  Choose healthy fats by introducing cold pressed flax seed oil and extra virgin coconut oil into your daily diet.

NewLife Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

  • Coconut oil at its best
  • Cold pressed and naturally processed, under strict hygienic conditions set by international standards (ISO 22000 and ISO 9000), from freshly harvested organic mature coconuts.
  • It has a light, delicate flavour and aroma, and can be taken directly by the spoonful.
  • Certified organic, certified Halal and Kosher.
  • No chemicals and preservatives are added.

How to use coconut oil?

  • In health and fitness: coconut oil is a rich source of fibre, minerals and vitamins. It contains natural antioxidant properties of Vitamin E, fatty acids and enzymes, high in lauric acid and medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Unlike saturated fats from animal sources, MCFAs are easily digested and converted into energy.  A spoonful a day goes a long way in boosting the immune system, strengthening thyroid functions, improving blood cholesterol profile, protecting the heart, and contributing to better nutrient absorption.  It also helps the body to stay slim by increasing metabolic rate and burning fat.  Take a spoonful before your workout for an extra boost of energy and better stamina.
  • In cooking: with its high smoking point, coconut oil does not form harmful by-products when heated.  It is a better and safer alternative to vegetable and olive oils.
  • In beauty: coconut oil is an effective anti-aging ingredient.  It can be used from head to toe.  With its powerful moisturizing, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is widely used to treat skin problems such as dermatitis, eczema, and stretch marks, while keeping skin healthy and moisturized.
  • Detoxification: coconut oil pulling is highly recommended for detoxifying the body and improving health.  Take 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil in the mouth before breakfast. Move the oil slowly around the mouth through swishing and by pulling it through the teeth.  Move around the mouth for 15-20 minutes or until the oil turns white.  Keeping the oil moving for several minutes is important because it is the prolonged swishing that gives the oil enough time to react with the saliva so that its enzymes are released to pull or draw toxins from the body.  Once the oil is expelled from the mouth, brush your teeth well to eliminate bacteria and other impurities from the body.

NewLife™ Omega Gold Flax Seed Oil

NewLife™’s Omega Gold Flax Seed Oil is derived from organically grown seeds of the flax plant. It is produced using a cold-pressing method to eliminate the damaging effects of light, oxygen, and heat. Only high-quality golden flax seeds are selected for the production of this oil, providing the highest quality of oil possible.

Flax seed oil is a rich source of omega-3, an essential fatty acid that has been associated with brain, heart, skin and hair health. It contains up to double the amount of omega-3 compared to standard fish oils, and is one of the best plant sources of omega-3, making it a great choice for vegans or vegetarians. Let’s take a look at some of the notable health benefits of flax seed oil.

Health benefits of flax seed oil

  1. Cancer prevention

Studies show that flax seed oil may help in the prevention of tumour growth. Alpha-linolenic acids (ALA) found in flax seed oil have shown significant effects in reducing growth of breast cancer cells.

  1. Healthy hair & skin

Flax seed oil benefits the skin and hair by providing the essential fats as well as vitamins needed in reducing dryness and flakiness. Besides, it can also improve the symptoms of acne, eczema, and skin allergies.

  1. Boost heart health

The omega-3 in flax seed oil helps to keep blood vessel walls in good condition by preventing build-up of fatty plaques. Flax seed oil benefits the heart by lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

  1. Regulate irregular periods

Flax seed oil contains lignans which have shown benefits in maintaining cycle regularity. It can also be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy to ease menopausal symptoms.

  1. Improve joint conditions

Omega-3 in flax seed oil is used by the body to produce anti-inflammatory components, which help to reduce stiffness and pain associated with certain joint conditions.

Who will benefit from flax seed oil?

The benefits of flax seed oil are extensive. It has been widely used for both health and beauty. It is suitable for children, adults and the elderly, especially for those who are suffering from the following symptoms:

  1. Irregular periods
  2. Premenstrual symptoms
  3. Constipation or diarrhoea
  4. Dry skin or flaky hair
  5. Poor memory
  6. Brittle nails
  7. Joint stiffness
  8. High cholesterol or heart diseases
  9. Weakened immunity

Add flax seed oil into your daily diet

Flax seed oil can be added to salad dressings, smoothies, steamed vegetables, potatoes, and rice. You can also add it into oatmeal to increase your intake of omega-3. One of the best ways to consume flax seed oil is to mix it into plain yoghurt. The combination of flax seed oil and plain yoghurt helps to emulsify the oil, improving digestion and metabolism. Never use flax seed oil for cooking, as heat destroys its nutritional benefits.