Most of us know that trans fats are bad for our health. In fact, a recent survey showed that a convincing 73 percent of us do. But only 21 percent of Americans can name three food sources of trans fat without the aid of multiple choice.
The thing is, even if you don’t know that the following foods have trans fats, you should certainly know that they are bad for you:
- French fries
- Potato chips
- Hard margarine
- Vegetable shortening
Trans fats have a double whammy effect on your health. They increase your bad cholesterol (LDL), and they even lower the good kind (HDL).
Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and nutritional consultant to the Super Bowl champs Pittsburgh Steelers, emphasizes one of my favorite points on how to eat: don’t demonize foods. You can eat “bad” foods, just in moderation.
“People are getting sick of this negative message of what not to have,” Bonci says. “Let’s focus instead on foods we love to eat.”
“We emphasize the good side of the equation: Enjoy fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and fish,” says Michael L. Dansinger, director of obesity research for the Tufts University atherosclerosis research lab and nutrition advisor for The Biggest Loser television series. “And if we enjoy fatty foods on certain occasions, I don’t think we need to contest that.”