How much 'trans-fat' is bad for your health?

Created 25 December 2017
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Knowing how much trans-fat your body can take is important to keeping a balanced diet.

How much 'trans-fat' is bad for your health?

The amount of trans-fat that one consumes should stay below 1 percent of the total calories consumed in a meal to prevent heart disease.

In the food processing industry, trans-fat is created by adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oil, or by heating vegetable oil to a high temperature. The goal is to improve the textures of ingredients and to increase their shelf life, as well as give the food a better taste.

Trans-fat is also created naturally by herbivorous animals' digestive systems. Dairy products usually contain a small amount of trans-fat.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), trans-fat increases the level of cholesterol inside your body, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. The amount of trans-fat that one consumes should stay below 1 percent of the total calories consumed in a meal to prevent heart disease. An adult needs around 2,000 kcal daily, so trans-fat consumption should be limited to 20kcal.

Since 2006, the United State Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has required food companies to label the trans-fat content on their packaging to inform consumers. It also noted that if the trans-fat content is below 0.5 grams per serving, the packaging is eligible to be labeled “0 gram trans-fat”. In Vietnam, there are still no specific regulations about labeling trans-fat content on packaging.

In recent years, companies have started to find ways to reduce trans-fat in their products in a bid to reach the “0 gram trans-fat” status. Within the instant noodle industry, manufacturers are trying to reduce trans-fat by strictly controlling frying materials.

According to Dr Tran Van Ky from Vietnam's Food Safety Science and Technology Organization, to control trans-fat, instant noodle manufacturers use naturally extracted vegetable oil and an indirect cooling method using cold water. After that, the vegetable oil is indirectly heated by steam and then transferred to the fryer through insulated tubes. This system is equipped with smart technology, which can keep the oil temperature steady and stable. It also can add new oil automatically to replace oil lost during the frying process.

Frying time is around 2.5 minutes, and the oil soaks into the noodles, makes the water evaporate and reduces the moisture content to below 3 percent. Thanks to this method, the noodles can be stored for up to five to six months in normal conditions.

A clock keeps an eye on temperature and amount of oil to keep oil temperature stable and automatically add more oil when necessar.

The pressure is monitored to keep the temperature and volume of the oil stable.

According to Acecook Vietnam, this technology allows it to strictly control the quality of the oil and limit trans-fat generation. Its products contain a very low amount of trans-fat (0.01 -0.04 per serving), putting them in the FDA’s “0 grams trans-fat” category.

According to Dr Ky, consumers only buy quality instant noodles from reputable manufacturers. Furthermore, relying solely on one type of food leads to a lack of nutrients. Instant noodles should be combined with a variety of foods throughout the day for people to stay healthy.

 

Source: Vnexpress

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