A healthy mind, they say, in a healthy body. We certainly cannot do our business or offer our services adequately if we are ill or under some medical stress. But we still don’t have to wait until we are sick before we know what to do. Sometimes, in fact most times, we need to help ourselves by avoiding some of the types of foods we enjoy consuming but which we probably don’t know they are not the best for the maintenance of our good health. The World Health Organisation recently confirmed that foods that contain high trans-fat increase the risk of heart disease by 21% and death by 28%. And that is not a joke. It is estimated that each year, the quantity of trans-fat consumed by Nigerians lead to the death of about 1,300 people from cardiovascular diseases.
Trans-fats can be found in many foods – including fried foods like doughnuts, and baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and other spreads. You can determine the amount of trans-fats in a particular packaged food by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel.
A food label that indicates 0 trans-fats means the product has less than .5 grams of trans- fat per serving. Watch your portion size of foods that have partially hydrogenated listed in the ingredient list as these are typically products that will have some trans-fats.
The good news is that in three years, you won’t find foods with artificial trans-fats on your shop or supermarket shelves any more. Efforts are being made by Food and Drug Administration across the globe to get manufacturers to remove all trans fat from their products by that time frame.
Food makers use trans-fats to enhance taste and texture and make foods last longer. Unfortunately, that’s not all trans-fats do. They also increase your risk for many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Your recommended daily intake is 0 grams. So, please when you else you buy food from your shop or supermarket read the label well and make sure it has no trans-fats on it. Let us save ourselves the time, money and stress of visiting the hospital by indulging in preventive medical care.