As a family caregiver, one of the things you may do for your aging relative is prepare meals. No doubt you do your best to cook meals that are both healthy and delicious. That can be challenging because of all the rules health experts say you need to follow for food. One of the things you’re probably careful about in your loved one’s meals is fats. There are fats that are considered good and fats that are considered bad. But, if you ask a doctor, they’ll likely tell you the worst kind of fat out there is trans fat. In fact, trans fat is believed to be so bad that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced an initiative to rid the world of man-made trans fats by the year 2023.
The Replace Plan.
The WHO’s plan to get rid of trans fats is called “Replace.” Trans fats usually appear in foods as partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). The United States is already working toward ridding food of PHOs. However, some countries, like India still regularly use them in their cuisine.
PHOs are found in many kinds of foods, including:
- Some kinds of shortening.
- Processed snacks and baked items.
- Coffee creamers.
Trans fats do occur naturally in some kinds of food, such as meat and dairy products. These products are not part of the Replace effort.
Health Effects of Trans Fat.
Man-made trans fats are created when liquid fats are turned into solid ones. To do this, the fats are hydrogenated, which means that hydrogen atoms are added. Manufacturers use trans fats because they give foods a longer shelf life.
Before the 1990s, people had no idea how trans fats negatively impacted health. They were created to replace the saturated fats found in animal products, which can clog arteries. Then, manufacturers realized that trans fats were inexpensive to make and made their products last longer, so they really caught on.
Now, doctors know that trans fats are more dangerous than saturated fats. Consuming trans fats can lead to:
- Heart attack.
- Type 2 diabetes.
In addition, trans fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and reduce the amount of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the body.
Trans fats are identified on nutritional labels, so it is important to read labels while grocery shopping and avoid trans fats as much as possible. A senior care provider can drive your aging relative to the grocery store and assist them with reading labels. Senior care providers can also carry heavy grocery bags. If the older adult has difficulty cooking for themselves, or simply doesn’t enjoy it, a senior care provider can prepare healthy meals for them as well.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Cranford, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.