Mystery behind Trans Fat!

Trans fats are created when a hydrogen atoms is added to the unsaturated oil to make it solid, separable and more flavoursome. This type of fats are used because they are inexpensive and helps to extend the shelf life of these products. But this benefits comes with a health risks.

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Sources of Trans Fat:

Natural :  Small amounts of trans fat occurs naturally in the ruminants like  beef, lamb, and dairy products.

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Industrial TF: iTF   are linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and they appear in :

  • Packaged, processed, and prepared foods like cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, frozen dinners.
  • Some stick margarine and vegetable shortening.
  • Commercially available fried foods, including donuts, French fries, take away, chicken nuggets.
  • Drinks such as hot chocolate.

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Why is it bad for you?

  • Trans- fats have more severe effects than saturated fat as they not only raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol but also reduce “good” (HDL) cholesterol, raise triglycerides along with raising total cholesterol to HDL ratio.
  • The overall result of this is, the  development of “Atheroma”, a fatty material within the walls of the arteries which blocks the blood supply to brain and heart leading to stroke and heart attack.
  • The risk of developing “silent killer”, diabetes increases if you are consuming trans- fat rich food.

Recommendation by health authority:

The World Health Organisation recommends to reduce trans- fats to less than 1% of your total caloric intake.

For e.g., if you are following a 2000 calorie diet, you should consume less than 2 grams of trans fats in a day.

How I can avoid it?

 By carefully reading nutritional  label’s ( for trans- fat and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (PHVO) ) and substituting with trans- fat free food  options (which contains less than half gram of TF) you can help your heart to stay healthy. 

Try to avoid Choose
Fast food Thin chips Thick wedsges/baked potato
Indian Food Samosa , Wada, TikkiVanaspati products such as Dalda in cooking Kababs with salad.Instead use small amount of pure Ghee
Prepared food Frozen, packaged food Freshly made meals
Chinese Deep fried dishes such as spring roll, noodles Stir fried dishes, soups, boiled noodles.

The best way to quit smoking!

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Congratulations for deciding to quit. “Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it hundreds of times”, remarked a well-known American author and humourist Mark Twain on his smoking habit. Due to a powerful addictive effect of nicotine from tobacco (cigarette) many smokers stop successfully after they undergo a few quit-relapse attempts.

Successfully quitting smoking requires a strong determination, commitment and right support. However, making the first step of deciding to quit is a vital ingredient for successful “quit attempt”.

Right direction

There are various drug and drug free options are available when you attempt to quit the strong tobacco addiction which are  discussed below.

  • Counselling/ Support:  

Counselling and therapies such as Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are useful. CBT which identify a person’s thought, attitude and belief about smoking and replaces them with more positive, productive thought which then lead to healthy action of that of non-smoker.

  • Medicines:

Chances of success in gaining the new positive lifestyle increases greatly if medications are added to counselling/ support.

  1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy which comes with variety of form like 24/16 hour patch, inhaler, etc. , substitute some nicotine which you would consume from cigarette. This treatment will be only effective, if used in correct dosage. Smoking Cessation practitioner or doctor can guide you to make right choice.
  2.  Champix/ chantix (Varenicline) is used to reduce pleasure from smoking and has proven to be efficient in successfully quitting smoking. Champix must be prescribed by a doctor who is able to monitor you for the course of treatment which usually last for 12 weeks.
  3.  Zyban: The class of anti-depressant which is prescribed after consultation with medical professional.
  • Acupuncture , Hypnosis and other complimentary therapies have been promoted as drug-free ways to quit the nicotine habit. However, clinical evidence  from a recent Cochrane review (2010) is insufficient as compared to above medications. This could  be the reason why these therapies are not available via National  Healthcare System.

If you dream yourself as being smoke free person, you could do some research to find out the way which feels right to you to assist with your successful quit attempt.  Whichever, way you have chosen, I wish you the very best to achieve your goal.

Pranita Salunke.

Holistic Occupational Therapist

(At Vitality Health Clinic, a registered Health Practitioner will help you successfully quit the smoking habit in close liaison with your G.P.

Find out how we can help you. Contact us (link))