Smart Balance is using a very good marketing tool to grab shoppers’ attention by discussing trans fat.
One Tbsp. of Smart Balance Buttery Spread has 80 calories, 9g fat, and 90mg sodium.
Before we dive into their claim, let’s do a quick trans fat 101.
- Trans fat (aka trans fatty acids, partially hydrogenated oils) are created in an industrial process, by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils, making them more solid.
- Trans fat is used because it’s easy and inexpensive to produce. These products have a longer shelf life and it gives desirable taste and texture.
- However, trans fat is terrible for your health! They raise LDL (bad) cholesterol & lower HDL (good) cholesterol; therefore increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke!
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Fats, just like protein or carbohydrates, are essential and your body needs fat to function properly. However, too much fat can have detrimental effects on your body, initially being weight gain and could result in heart problems or cancer.
Fat serves numerous roles in the body:
- an energy source
- used in production of cell membranes
- helps hormone-like compounds regulate blood pressure, heart rate, etc.
- carries fat-soluble vitamins (Vit. A, K, E, & D) from your food into your body
Most foods contain several different kinds of fats, including saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats, and some are better for your health than others. Don’t completely eliminate all fats; rather, choose the healthier types and eat them in moderation.
Let’s break them down!
When choosing fats, your best options are unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Replacing your unhealthy fats with the healthy ones you could see results like reducing your risk of heart disease and reducing your total and LDL-cholesterol.
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