As you know, there are a lot of unhealthy choices out there when it comes to food we feed our family. If you are reading this then you truly care about your present and future health and want to be fully educated.
We at Okuma Nutritionals take a lot of pride in sourcing one of the cleanest, Medicinal-Grade teas on earth. And, frankly, it’s digusting to read about foods that are full of toxic ingredients that make people gravely ill. Especially when these foods are banned in other countries! The biggest offender? Trans-Fats.
Why Are Trans-Fats Bad For You?
What are trans-fats, and why are they so bad for you? When liquid oils are hydrogenated, they turn into solid fats. While these trans-fats increase the shelf-life of foods, they are also linked to blocking veins and arteries.
In other words, they don’t cause food to expire and they don’t “expire” from your body! No thank you! In order to really fight coronary heart disease – the FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg suggested lowering the average consumption of trans-fats.
By 2018 no U.S. foods will contain manufactured trans-fat, due to a ban by the Food and Drug Administration. This may prevent at least 20,000 MORE heart attacks and 7,000 NEW cases of heart disease each year. That’s a step in the right direction!
The Top 11 Trans-Fat Offenders…
If you are currently eating any of these foods or if you find them in your pantry, get rid of them immediately and vow to clean up your diet this year. Save you and your family any future illness by taking care of yourself now.
1. Fast Food
It has been reported that Burger King’s Whopper and Long John Silver’s breaded Clam Strips can possess between 1 and 7 grams of artificial trans-fats per serving. Long John Silver’s has stated that they intend to boot the trans-fats out to sea, but only time will tell. Burger King defends themselves stating that the trans-fats found in their foods derive naturally from the meat and dairy that they use to create the food. There is nothing natural about trans-fats and I don’t want them anywhere near my body!
Many restaurant chains have stopped frying food in partially hydrogenated oils which has significantly reduced trans-fat levels in french fries and other foods. These include McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, and Dairy Queen. But others have been slow to embrace the trend: A large Cajun fries from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, for example, still contains 3.5 grams of trans-fat.
2. Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn in itself is a healthy snack and a serving of whole grains to boot. But when you pour on the gooey toppings, there’s no telling what you’re really adding.
Case in point: Orville Redenbacher’s microwave popcorn. The Pour Over Movie Theater butter flavor contains 0.5 grams of trans-fat per serving, and the Caramel flavor contains 1.5 grams.
Pop Secret is even worse: The butter and jumbo pop movie theater butter flavors each contain 5 grams of trans-fat per serving—more than 15 grams per bag!
To satisfy your salty cravings – try getting an air-popper or even using some coconut oil and popping corn on the stove. It’s easier and SO much tastier than bagged popcorn! (Not to mention heart-healthier.)
3. Ice cream
Certain flavors of Häagen-Dazs ice cream—including butter pecan, coffee, rum raisin, green tea, and even plain old vanilla—contain 0.5 grams of trans-fat per serving. But if you read the ingredients list, the telltale listing of partially hydrogenated oils is missing.
That may be because there are naturally occurring trans-fats in fat-containing dairy products, which are thought to not be as dangerous as the manufactured trans-fat. These products are high in calories, however, so you should still watch your intake.
4. Baked Goods & Frozen Desserts
Baked products are notorious for containing trans-fat, but many major restaurant chains (such as McDonald’s and Burger King) have removed partially hydrogenated oils from their apple pies.
You can still find the trans-fat varieties in your grocery store, however. Many varieties of Marie Callender’s frozen fruit and cream pies have between 1 and 4 grams of trans-fat per serving.
As for piecrust, Pillsbury Frozen Pot Pie Crust Dough has 15 grams of trans-fat (per pie). YIKES!
Keebler’s Ready Crust Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust contains 2 full grams of trans-fats per serving.
Betty Crocker’s Pie Crust Mix contains about 2.5 grams of trans-fats.
One slice of Sara Lee’s Classic NY Style Cheesecake may contain up to 3 grams of trans-fats.
Don’t forget about frosting! Pillsbury’s Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge frosting can have up to 1.5 grams of trans-fats.
So when you’re looking for a sweet treat to bring to a get-together or birthday party, read the labels or make your own and try to use fresh, real ingredients!
5. Margarines & Shortening
Hopefully, you know to steer clear of margarine by now.
Not so long ago, margarine was marketed as a healthier alternative to butter because it’s made from vegetable oil instead of dairy or animal products. But for the margarine to maintain its solid form, many brands (especially stick varieties) depend on hydrogenated oils that are high in trans-fat and/or saturated fat.
Be sure to steer clear of Blue Bonnet Regular Sticks (1.5 grams per serving) or Walmart Great Value Stick margarine (3 grams of trans-fats per serving), and instead opt for whipped, reduced-fat or fat-free soft spreads.
Crisco has come a long way in terms of trans-fat, in fact, according to the label the popular shortening now contains 0 grams. But a closer look at the ingredients list shows that partially hydrogenated oils are still there.
Companies are allowed to round down and put “0 grams” on the nutrition label if their product has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But if you do a lot of baking—or a lot of eating once the cookies come out of the oven—those trace amounts can add up to unhealthy levels.
It’s in your best interest to just keep these out of your diet entirely!
6. Ground Beef
Just as with dairy products, beef can also contain natural trans-fat. So although the big chains have worked hard to remove partially hydrogenated oils from their fried foods, most restaurant burgers still contain significant levels of trans-fat, including Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger with 3.5 grams.
You’ll also find trans-fat in many frozen burgers, beef sausages, beef hot dogs and ground beef.
Animal products don’t always make for the healthiest of diets anyway. Instead of meat, especially red meat, opt for more plant-based foods and possibly incorporate a Meatless Monday into your week!
7. Breakfast Sandwiches
Doughnuts are often the poster-child food for trans-fat, but in 2007, Dunkin’ Donuts reformulated their menu so most items now contain 0 grams per serving (or at least fall below 0.5 grams).
Unfortunately, that’s not always true for breakfast sandwiches served on biscuits at other chains, such as Carl’s Jr. Some sandwiches have 6 grams of trans-fat. ICK!!
And at the grocery store, steer clear of White Castle hamburgers and cheeseburgers (0.5 and 1 gram of trans-fat per serving respectively.)
8. Meat Sticks
You’re packing more than just protein when you snap into a Slim Jim: The Giant size Dare and Monster versions of this jerky strip contain 1 and either 1.5 or 2 grams of trans-fat, respectively. (The original, smaller snack sticks also contain trans-fat, which occurs naturally in beef, in smaller amounts.)
Instead of processed meat sticks, aim to eat more fruits or raw vegetables and get most of your protein from heart-healthy fish, poultry, lentils, soybeans and nuts.
Nabisco’s Premium Saltines, Stoned Wheat Thins, and Ritz have trans-fat levels below 0.5 grams per serving, but some varieties contain partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil in their ingredients lists. If you eat more than a few crackers, even this small amount will add up.
To be sure you’re buying crackers that contain no trans-fat, read the ingredients list before even looking at the nutrition label. Choose snacks that avoid partially hydrogenated oils altogether, such as Stacy’s Pita Chips or Annie’s Bunnies.
10. Frozen Dinners
Frozen foods are likely to contain trans-fat not just to make the foods more stable, but also to give them a fattier feel in your mouth.
Frozen dinners and microwave meals are some of the biggest culprits. Marie Callender’s Country Fried Beef, Grilled Chicken Alfredo Bake and Fettuccini Alfredo dinners, for example, each contain 0.5 grams of trans-fat.
Yes, they may be a convenient meal on those nights when you’re running behind and don’t have much time to throw dinner together, but it’s not worth it to consume these meals. Save your body and take the time to put together something more nutritious for your family. They’re worth it.
11. Packaged Pudding
Snack Pack’s Dessert Twists Caramel Cream Pudding may be “made with real nonfat milk,” but it’s far from a health food. The caramel cream flavor contains 1 gram of trans-fat and all flavors pack between 8% and 10% of your daily allowance for saturated fat.
The brand’s other flavors all claim no trans-fat on their nutrition labels, but it’s a good idea to read the ingredients list of any pudding or creamy dessert to rule out low levels of partially hydrogenated oils flying under the radar.
These 11 foods are only an abbreviated list. There are MANY, MANY, MANY more foods with hidden trans-fats, so just remember to read every label you come across! Make sure there are no hydrogenated oils anywhere to be found when stocking up your pantry or eating out.
The Silver Lining…
The world is waking up to toxic ingredients in our foods and we are becoming more educated on our own health and wellness.
One of the ways the world is waking up is by demanding all-natural 100% pure ingredients in their foods and shopping smarter.
As consumers, you make sure you are spending your hard-earned money on quality items that will benefit your health and well-being, right?
You can have peace of mind when shopping for our Oolong Tea because we take a stand by supporting farms that that are:
- 100% Certified Organic
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
- Coloring, Flavoring, and Additive-Free
By making wise choices with our dollars, we can win the fight against harmful foods for ourselves and our children.
And remember, if you haven’t started cleansing your body daily with Medicinal Grade Oolong… find out how you can start losing weight and feeling great – naturally – right HERE.
Yours in Health & Happiness,
P.S. For tips on cleaning out your pantry and ridding your home of any trans-fats, check out Spring Clean Your Pantry!