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Are you trans fat aware?

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Trans fatty acids (also known as hydrogenated fats) are toxic fats that sneak often unlabelled into our food supply in surprisingly high amounts

Trans fatty acids (also known as hydrogenated fats) are toxic fats that sneak often unlabelled into our food supply in surprisingly high amounts. The average Canadian ingests an estimated eight to 10 grams of trans fats daily.

These man-made fats are implicated in heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. When vegetable oil is raised to high temperatures, such as during frying or deep-frying, its molecular structure changes, resulting in the production of trans fats. Walter Willett, a leading researcher at Harvard University, says trans fats are linked to an estimated 33,000 deaths in North America each year.

Regulations improving trans fats labelling by food companies won't go into effect until 2006. Until then, a little awareness can go a long way. Common fat offenders include fast and processed foods and even restaurant fare, according to independent tests conducted last December.

Fries, hash browns, battered fish products, egg rolls, margarine, cookies, cakes, frozen baked goods, and microwave popcorn all make the trans fat list. In contrast, fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts are trans fat free.

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