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Avoiding Trans Fat to Lose Weight

I've mentioned butter and oils, but what about margarine? It is an unsaturated fat, made from vegetable oil, but it has been hydrogenated. That means hydrogen atoms have been added to each molecule to "saturate" it so it takes a solid form at room temperature. The added hydrogen atoms also make it more stable, so it is less likely to become rancid.

Sounds good? Well, actually, no. This synthetic saturated fat is called trans fat and the news about it is bad. Long marketed as the low-cholesterol alternative to butter, margarine has recently had a lot of bad press. Most of it is based on a medical study that showed that people whose diets are high in trans fats are at increased risk for heart attack. The risk is related to the fact that trans fats not only raise LDL levels, but also lower levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol.

One small piece of good news: Liquid margarine, the kind that comes in squeeze bottles, and some tub margarines contain less trans fat than the solid stick kind.

Want to avoid trans fats? As of now, you won't find them listed by that name on food packaging, which is why some people call them "stealth fats," but the USDA is considering new regulations that would require trans fats to be listed. Until such changes are made, you need to look for the words "hydrogenated" and "partially hydrogenated" on the label of all prepared foods you buy.

What about alcohol?

Is it fat, protein, or carbohydrate? Actually, it's none of the above. It is yet another source of energy - after all, it can be burned to provide light and even to run an automobile - but it's not, strictly speaking, a nutrient. Alcohol supplies 7 calories per gram, about halfway between fats and protein/carbohydrates. It is processed by the liver and turned into fat for storage. That's where beer bellies come from, in case you were wondering.

The mighty micronutrients

Vitamins and Minerals are called micronutrients because we consume and need only tiny amounts of them. A little goes a long way, but having too little also has a great impact.

In a balanced diet such as is available in developed countries, you will probably get all the vitamins and minerals you need. But be aware that I said "balanced diet."

A diet full of junk food or one that ignores one or more of the food groups is not balanced and may well be deficient in some important vitamins and minerals.

If you're living on junk food, don't think that the answer is to pop a vitamin pill and hope for the best. Instead, balance your diet!

Vitamins

Vitamins are major players in the process by which food is broken down and converted to energy or stored as fat. The body also uses vitamins to help manufacture blood cells, hormones, genes, and parts of the nervous system.

Vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins are C and the B group. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Beta-carotene, that famous antioxidant, is also fat­soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are found in foods that contain fatArticle Submission, which is one reason why a completely fat-free diet isn't healthy.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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