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Trans Fats- Silent Killer

What are trans fats? Trans fatty acids, commonly known as trans fat, are a type of unsaturated fat. They occur in small quantities in meat and dairy products, but most trans fats consumed today are industrially

created. They are neither required nor beneficial for health, and are basically unnecessary poisons being put into the food of the consumer. It is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil, which is a process known as hydrogenation. The government has even agreed that trans fats are unnecessary and should be kept to a minimum (according to Tommy Thompson, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)) A federal report on trans fat, finds there is no safe level and recommends that people eat as little of it as possible. (According to Kim Severson: A San Fransisco Chronical Reporter)

Where are they found?
40% cakes, cookies, crackers, pies, bread, etc. 21% animal products 17% margarine 8% fried food (especially potatoes) 5% potato chips, corn chips, popcorn 4% household shortening 3% salad dressing 1% breakfast cereal 1% candy (according to Data based on FDA’s economic analysis) A story in the Dec. 1, 2003, issue of Newsweek estimates trans fats are now found in more than 40% of foods on grocery shelves.

Why are they in the foods we eat?

The purpose of this process is to increase the shelf life and flavor stability of the product. They keep food looking fresh and eatable. This saves food producers money, not having to make food as often, because food is staying fresh on the grocery shelves longer. So, even though it is detrimental to our health, it is saving them money.

What does eating these trans fats do to our bodies?

Trans fat greatly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which is main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, more than 12.5 million Americans have CHD, and more than 500,000 die each year. That makes CHD one of the leading causes of death in the United States. There should be a warning on food made with this stuff like there is on nicotine products. It’s that bad for you,” Dr. Jeffrey Aron, UC San Francisco professor of medicine and one of the nation’s leading experts on fatty acids said.

Adults aren’t the only people affected by this horrible substance. Research at the University of Maryland has shown that kids as young as eight, nine and ten already have the high cholesterol and blood fats that clog arteries. These can be your precious children, who have no knowledge of the dangers that lie in the food they are consuming. Be a responsible parent/guardian and monitor your child’s diet, because at this age, you control what they eat. Instead of stopping at McDonalds or Burger King for a Happy meal everytime youre out and about, pack lunches and snacks to tide them over until you get back home. Or, if it is unavoidable, get a grilled chicken sandwich, or subway.

What can we do your asking?
The easiest way to stop this, is to start in your home. Inform family and friends about trans-fats, that maybe some people arent aware of. Try eating less fast food, fried food, and foods that have trans-fats on the labels. It’s really hard to completely cut them off from your diet, because food manufacturers put them in a lot of foods we consume everyday, without us even knowing. Another way to lower intake of trans fats, try reduced-fat, low-fat, fat-free and trans fat-free versions of frequently consumed foods.

Write letters to your politicians to urge the banning of trans fat from foods. Do not tolerate the poisoning of our fellow men, women and children. Stand up and fight for your right to life and the freedom to eat whatever you choose without the worry of being poisoned all because of the carelessness of the food industries. Something needs to be done about this, and the outlawing of trans fat needs to be in place immediately, before more lives are lost to this pointless products.

The food industry is gratuitously poisoning consumers on a daily basis, and this needs to end. These fats are slowly killing people who may be your friends, family, or maybe even you.