Trans Fats: It has been estimated by top nutritionists at Harvard that between 30,000 and 100,000 premature deaths a year are due to the ingestion of trans fats. This fat that drives me mad is the result of partial hydrogenation of "healthy" oils. It's a chemically altered fat which has permeated our foods that raises bad LDL cholesterol, lowers good HDL cholesterol, promotes insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, immune system dysfunction and contributes to almost any health problem you could name.
It has no benefit whatsoever to the body and is simply put in foods to preserve shelf life and add a smoothness to the taste of cookies, crackers, pastries and the like. Good news is, the products on the shelf last longer; bad news is your life is shorter for ingesting these fats.
Do not eat anything with the words "hydrogenated" "partially hydrogenated" or shortening" in the ingredients list. This is regardless if the box says "Zero Trans Fats" or not. As always, there are ways for manufacturers to get around the issue and if any of these ingredients are in it, it DOES contain trans fats!
So that covers foods you buy and can read the labels for content but what about eating out? Most restaurants fry their food in partially hydrogenated oils and their baked goods contain them as well. This can mean restaurant meals with up to 15 or 20 grams of trans fats! So don't be afraid to ask your server to list the ingredients in the food and sauces you are ordering as well as what cooking oils are used. Ask them if they are trans fat free and if they don't know and can't find out, don't order.
Now, that being said, reward yourself with a little dark chocolate for being a diligent trans fat warrior! I'm very happy to say that dark chocolate is an acceptable moderate indulgence for those of us with diabetes. The higher quality chocolates will have the cocoa solids listed on the wrapper such as 54%, 62%, 72% etc. The higher the quality the better it is for you as the stearic acid in it will actually raise good HDL cholesterol and have very little if any effect on the bad LDL cholesterol. In addition chocolate is a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants that have the effect of keeping cholesterol from sticking to the walls of blood vessels and relaxing blood vessels thus reducing blood pressure! Now dark chocolate does have high sugar content but the high fat content gives it a lower glycemic index so in essence it has little effect on blood sugar levels. So keep your chocolate high quality and dark but don't forget moderation with this "I can have it" treat.
About The Author
Bradley Kapture, author, "The Sounds of Silence" and lecturer, is the founder of yoga4diabetes™. Kapture is an expert in asana, mantra and meditation practices. In 2004 a turn in life circumstances forced him to close his yoga studios, leave his yoga practice and go to work in the world of corporate sales. After just 3 years he found himself overweight, filled with anxiety and with type 2 diabetes. He refused standard drug treatment and instead returned to yoga and developed a yoga method to address the causes of type 2 diabetes and to heal his body. Within just three months his blood sugars had returned to normal levels. His doctor responded, "I agree with you on your diabetes control; the HGA1C is well below target at 6.5 so keep doing what you're doing. It's really a tremendous achievement to go from 7.7 to 6.5 in such a short time period without medication." These results inspired him to share his yoga method and help others with diabetes reduce or eliminate dependence on medication and help those with pre-diabetes from developing the disease. In the tradition of yoga Kapture offers consultations on a donation basis! For more information go to http://yoga4diabetes.com/