The ugly truth about trans fat

Food—Cod—3.6.13

Food—Cod—3.6.13

You’ve probably heard of “trans fats” and know that they should be avoided. But do you know what they actually are, and why this mystery fat is so unhealthy?

Trans fats are created through a process called hydrogenation. This process adds hydrogen to liquid oils (like soybean, cottonseed, and corn) which makes them solid at room temperature. This man-made fat was originally created as a cheap way to give products a longer shelf life and improve the texture of desserts, crackers, and frozen foods.

Trans fats have been shown to decrease the body’s healthy HDL cholesterol and increase levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Frequent trans fat consumption and the changes it produces in cholesterol levels can double your risk for a heart attack.

Though trans fats are now required to be listed on a product’s nutrition information label, to be sure you are not consuming any trans fats you must also look at the product’s ingredients list. If you see the words “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated,” there are trans fats in the product. This is true even if the amount listed is 0gm of trans fat per serving.

The next time you make a trip to the grocery store, take time to look at what is in your food before you buy it. Your heart will thank you for it.
Roasted cod with tomato tapenade

Serves 4

1 lb. cod fillets
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. shallot, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup cured olives, chopped
1 tbsp. capers, drained
1 ½ tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Rub cod with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Transfer the cod to the oven and roast until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
5. Add shallot and cook, until shallot begins to soften, about 20 seconds.
6. Add tomatoes and cook, until softened, about 1 ½ minutes.
7. Add olives and capers, and cook, stirring for 30 seconds more.
8. Stir in oregano and vinegar, then remove from heat.
9. Spoon the tapenade over the cod to serve. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information per Serving: 205 calories, 8 gm fat, 6 gm carbohydrates, 26 gm protein, 489 mg sodium, 1 gm fiber

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