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Deadly Habit #1: Eating Too Much Trans Fat
While trans fats have only recently been discussed in the popular wellness literature, the health risks associated with these fats have been known for years. Trans fats are the absolute worst fats and should not be eaten at all. Recently, the U.S. National Academy of ScienceÆs Institute of Medicine, the organization responsible for advising the U.S. government on health policy and responsible for determining the reference daily intake (RDI) for vitamins, concluded there is absolutely no safe level of intake for trans fat.2 Any food item listing ôpartially hydrogenatedö or ôhydrogenated oilö of any type, ômargarine,ö or ôvegetable shorteningö on its list of ingredients always contains at least some deadly trans fat. Also assume that all fried foods at restaurants and fast-food places contain trans fat. All of these products should be completely avoided.
Trans fats are directly linked with heart disease. Alarmingly, trans fats are capable of altering your cholesterol profile toward the most dangerous ratio in terms of risk for heart disease and are even worse for you than saturated fat. Trans fats raise your bad LDL cholesterol level and your total cholesterol level while simultaneously lowering your good protective HDL cholesterol level.3 If all this isnÆt bad enough, trans fats also increase your triglyceride level and impair artery dilation, a one-two punch that further increases your risk for heart artery disease.
In a 1993 study in the prestigious medical journal Lancet, almost 90,000 healthy women were followed for eight years. There was a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and deaths in those women who ate just 5.7 grams per day of trans fats compared to women who ate only 2.4 grams per day of trans fat. Statistically, this difference was highly significant.4 The difference between 2.4 and 5.7 grams is less than one order of medium McDonaldÆs french fries or one standard-size glazed donut.
According to evidence reported in 1999 by the Harvard University Department of Nutrition, up to 100,000 premature coronary deaths per year could be prevented by replacing partially hydrogenated oils with natural nonhydrogenated oils.5 Trans fats have also been linked to conditions other than heart disease. Trans fats block healthy fats from being converted into helpful inflammation fighters and cause your body to produce more inflammatory mediators,6 which increase blood clotting, increase blood pressure and worsen inflammationmediated conditions such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, CrohnÆs disease, psoriasis and asthma.
¬2006. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Gold Coast Cure: The 5-Week Health & Body Makeover Andrew Larson, M.D., and Ivy Larson. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.,
3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.