Tuesday, the FDA took a bold step to ensure healthy food choices by banning the use of trans fats as a food additive. The ban is set to create sweeping changes to the way Americans cook and eat and is expected to be fully in effect by June 18, 2018. If you are curious as to why trans fats must be banned, read on for more information about the negative effects on both physical and mental health from consuming trans fats.
Trans fats were added to foods as early as 1911 with the worst offenders being baked goods (such as pies), fried foods, and more recently, microwave popcorn. Studies researching the effect of trans fats on human physiology, by contrast, were not fully undertaken until the late 1990s, well after trans fats had become a staple in the Western Diet. Once the studies began to be released, a growing sense of alarm began to spread. Trans fats were linked with an increase in inflammation and oxidative stress. The structural integrity of neuronal membranes in the brain was found to be susceptible to trans fats and this susceptibility was quickly linked to cognitive decline and mental illness. Studies have shown that consumption of trans fats increased the risk of serious depression by up to 48% and people who ate the most trans fats during the study had the most severe depression. In fact, trans fats were the only dietary fats in the study that showed a significant association with self-reported quality of life scores. Study participants whose diets contained the most trans fats were most likely to report characteristics associated with lower quality of life including feeling tired or worn out, negative attitudes about work and social life, and negative beliefs about future health.
In exchange for all of these negative effects, trans fats, in general, offered zero health benefits. While they are attributed with increasing shelf life and improving the overall texture of food, they are directly tied to multiple health issues including heart disease, stroke, and mental illness. They raise levels of bad cholesterol while lowering levels of good cholesterol and cause a hardening of the arteries, even in young people. In fact, noticeable levels of trans fats have been discovered in the umbilical cords of newborn babies deposited before birth. By removing trans fats from the “generally recognized as safe” category, the FDA will require manufacturers to petition for an exception to include them in products thereby reducing public exposure.
Having this information should be a catalyst in creating change in your life. Trans fats are obviously bad for you but how would you go about removing them from your body? Is it even possible? Actually, it is possible to remove trans fats from your body in order to promote better overall physical and mental health. By following the tips below, you can reduce or eliminate your intake of trans fats and speed the process of removing them from your body.
- Commit to the detoxification process. Start reading labels and making informed decisions on food purchases. Trans fats can be hidden in the nutritional information. Words to look out for include “shortening” and “partially hydrogenated.”
- Restructure your diet to include more fiber, which will bind to the fats in your body and allow you to release them. Aim for around 50 grams of fiber per day with a minimum intake of 30 grams of fiber.
- Introduce enzyme-rich juice to your diet to aid in fat release. Carrot juice is a perfect option.
- Consider raw or steamed vegetables and greens. Avoid fats except for naturally occurring fats such as those found in avocados or nuts.
- Drink at least 90 ounces of water per day. Add lemon to help gently cleanse the liver.
- Start your day by drinking a cup of warm water on an empty stomach. A very warm cup of water in the morning can help cleanse your body by flushing out toxins.