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Dietary trans fat is a risk factor for heart disease. It kills an estimated 100,000 people in the US each year, according to Harvard scientists.
Tran fat or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is used in foods, which is well known to many people.
But not as many people know the fact that trans fat can be formed in a food which is rich in unsaturated oil and subject to treatment at high temperature.
When a food rich in unsaturated oil is heated, it can not only form trans fat, but other harmful chemicals as well.
To minimize intake of trans fat formed during food processing, oil-rich foods processed at high temperature better be avoided.
If you cook, use low or medium heat. Make sure there is plenty of water in the food you cook so that the food will not be over-heated.
For instance, when you stir fry vegetables, make sure to pour some water in the cooker before you put vegetables. Cooking oil, which is used for a good flavor and mouth feel, should be added only after the food is pretty much well done.
With water added, the dish or food you prepare may smell and taste as good as that prepared without much water in the food at high temperature, but the former should be much safer than the latter.
Using oil with a low amount of polyunsaturated fat is also a way to reduce the trans fat formation as such oil is more thermally stable than oil with high levels of polyunsaturated fat.
Other than added trans fat and trans fat induced during food processing, there is a third type of trans fat, that is, naturally occurring trans fat. Milk contains a sizable amount of such a trans fat.
Of course, added trans fat among the three is the major concern for those who want to avoid trans fat.
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