For many of us, there will be an abundance of food around the house this Christmas and it’s not difficult to get carried away. One of the key elements to try and avoid this festive season are the man made fats known as trans fats.
Trans fats are produced during hydrogenation: a chemical process that manufacturers use to convert vegetable oils into semi-solid fats. This helps to extend the shelf life of the food and tends to give food a creamier taste. Cutting out these trans fats could reduce UK deaths from from heart disease by up to 20 percent! Take a look at the Healthy Hideout’s top tips for keeping the trans fats at bay this Christmas:
- When choosing margarine for baking or sandwiches, try to keep away from hard block recipes, looking out for brands that have low trans fat content. If you can’t see this information, look out for hydrogenated fat or oil levels.
- When light frying in the pan, use a good quality olive oil rather than sunflower or vegetable. It’s that much better for you!
- When preparing side salads for Boxing Day lunch why not try Sunflower seeds or chopped pumpkin seeds instead of bacon bits – Bacon bits are soaked in trans fat!
- If you feel a craving for something savoury whilst watching your favourite Christmas movie, try substituting potato chips and crisps for something a little more imaginative. Peanut butter smeared on celery sticks is a great option!
- Try spending a little more time in the fresh food aisles of the supermarket – Research has shown that foods with high trans fat content are kept in the centre of the supermarket.
- Substitute the goose fat soaked roast potatoes for jacket potatoes this Christmas. Jacket potatoes are naturally low in fat and high in carbohydrate.
- If you need to stock up on processed foods such as biscuits, cereals or desserts try to stick to lower-fat versions of them. It may seem a little tedious, but it really is worth it!
- Make your own – Here at the Healthy Hideout, we can’t encourage making your own baked goods enough! Try your cakes, muffins and biscuits and pack them with contents that you enjoy whilst keeping the trans fats to a minimum!
We don’t want to start scaring you into thinking Christmas is just one big opportunity to gain weight, because it isn’t. It’s a time to be enjoyed and remembered! Just try to keep long term health in perspective – Your heart will thank you for it!