Featuring recipes with zero trans fat and a complete, easy-to-understand guide to the trans fat content of many common products and menu items, this book shows how to identify and avoid these damaging fats--without sacrificing taste or convenience.
Hobbs, a registered and licensed dietician, shares her knowledge through her newspaper column, "On the Table," as well as through numerous books. Her latest endeavor to help readers lead a healthier lifestyle comes on the heels of the American Heart Association's urging to remove all trans fats from our diets. Hobbs provides a list of 601 tips to do just that, which vary from using trans fat-free recipes to reading product nutrition labels. For easy perusal, tips are arranged into chapters and sections. Part 3, "Food Guide and Fat Gram Counter," is arranged not only by food type but also by brand and product name. Readers will realistically be able to use this list for grocery shopping. Although other books contain the same health information found here, the "Food Guide and Fat Gram Counter" section is so useful that public libraries of any size should make a point of purchasing a copy.-Rachel M. Minkin, Graduate Theological Union Lib., Berkeley Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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October 02, 2006
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Excerpt from Get the Trans Fat Out by Suzanne Havala Hobbs
Part I A Trans Fat Primer The first part of this book is devoted to explaining why it’s important to get the trans fat out of your diet. It is the background you need to help you put the issue into perspective as well as help you make informed decisions when making food choices. As you read this part of the book, think about the foods you eat today that are high in trans fat—those you keep in your kitchen as well as those you eat when you’re at a restaurant. Once you’re aware of where trans fat hides in your diet and why you need to get it out, the remainder of this book will help you accomplish that goal. Chapter 1 Understanding Trans Fat For many years you had to know what you were looking for to find any clue that your favorite foods might contain trans fat. That’s because the government didn’t require food manufacturers to list trans fat on product nutrition labels, and so almost universally they did not list it. The effect was that most of us paid no attention to how much trans fat we were eating even though partially hydrogenated oils—the main source of trans fat—were being used in 40 percent of the foods sold in supermarkets. But people are paying attention now. Science has found serious health risks associated with eating partially hydrogenated oils and other sources of trans fat. Trans fat is dangerous because it raises blood levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, while also lowering levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. How bad is that? A large study that examined, among other things, links between diet and health—The Nurses Health Study—has shown that women who eat twice the average amount of trans fat (about 5 grams or 1 teaspoon per day) developed 62 percent more heart disease than the average. Other studies have provided preliminary evidence that trans fat causes general inflammation in the body, an emerging risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, and other conditions. Health professionals are therefore advising us to severely limit or eliminate trans fat from our diets. For the first time new federal regulations are requiring food manufacturers to list the trans fat content of their products on food labels. In response to these new rules, many companies are reformulating their products to reduce or rid them of trans fat. Let me be clear: Trans fats are very bad for you. They cause many health problems, and they contribute to obesity. You do need some fat, but trans fat is a bad fat that should be eliminated from your diet and replaced with good fats. Trans fat won’t disappear overnight. It will be years before we see the end of partially hydrogenated oils in packaged and manufactured foods. It will be necessary for you to make some changes to cut trans fat out of your diet. You need to understand some basics before you begin: what hydrogenated oils and other sources of trans fat are, where they come from, why they are used, and where they are found. What Are Trans Fats? Our bodies store fat so that it can be burned later for energy, the energy needed to fuel the work our bodies perform as they grow and develop. Fats, also called fatty acids, serve a variety of other functions, such as helping to transport fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K throughout the body. We need some fat to be healthy, but most of us get too much of the wrong kinds from the foods we eat. There are three main forms of fat in our diets: monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat. Each has a unique chemical configuration and functions differently in the body. Most fats occur naturally in foods. Trans fat is a somewhat different case. Some trans fats occur naturally in dairy products and meats. M