Issue # 159 December 9, 2013
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the holidays.
Today, with all the talk recently about trans fats and the effect they have on our health, Louise O’Connor is going to explain how trans fats damage your thyroid.
By Louise O’Connor
Trans fats are considered the most harmful type of dietary fat for you and your family. Small amounts of trans fats are naturally found in meat and dairy products. However the main dietary source is processed foods.
Trans fats can be synthetically produced and are routinely used in a wide variety of foods found in your local supermarket. They are highly favored by food manufacturers as they add texture to a food product and extend shelf life.
What are trans fats?
Trans fats are formed by turning liquid vegetable oils into solid fats. This industrial process is termed ‘hydrogenation’. Ongoing scientific evidence confirms a diet high in trans fats will increase a persons’ risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Increasing consumer awareness is driving the demand to ban the use of this deadly food ingredient. Prohibiting its use would definitely be a step in the right direction. The USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently acknowledged that reducing trans fat intake could prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths.
Truth in labeling trans fats
Trans fats are produced on an industrial scale to fuel demand by large food manufactures. They are found in an extensive range of popular food products. Due to lax labeling laws food manufacturers do not always declare that a food product contains trans fats. This means you could be unknowingly consuming these dangerous fats as part of your daily diet. Until food companies provide more truth in labeling this risky food ingredient can easily find its way into your shopping trolley.
Toxic trans fats are found in processed foods such as deep fried foods, margarine, commercial baked goods (doughnuts, biscuits, cakes, chips and crackers) and microwave popcorn. Trans fats can be listed on a food label with vague names such as ‘hydrogenated oils’ or ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils’.
You are what you eat (literally!) Trans fats and your thyroid
Our bodies are constantly regenerated from the food we consume. This means we are what we eat, literally. Any type of dietary fat, good or bad has the potential to be used by the body. Your body needs dietary fat to store energy, to provide structure to cell membranes, and to make important vitamins and hormones.
The body does not require trans fats. In fact these fats are very harmful to the body at a basic cell level. Each cell of your body is surrounded by a fatty membrane. When a cell is healthy the outer membrane is flexible. This allows nutrients to pass in, and unwanted substances to pass out.
When a cell membrane is constructed using hardened and unhealthy fats it becomes rigid. The function of the entire cell is then compromised. This can easily occur in the specialized thyroid cells. Trans fats are very damaging to the thyroid cell membranes. When the cells are compromised it can undermine healthy day-to-day thyroid function.
A natural thyroid diet that emphasizes plenty of fresh unprocessed foods is an important step to eliminate trans fat intake. Good quality butter, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil and extra virgin oil are all sources of beneficial dietary fat that will not harm your thyroid.
Louise O’Connor is a leading Australian Naturopath & Wellness Coach who specialized in thyroid health. The Natural Thyroid Diet is her top-selling e-book that contains a wealth of information on recovering your thyroid health from a holistic, Naturopathic viewpoint. Louise believes that when you are empowered with credible information and an awareness of new opportunities it really is possible for you to finally take control of your thyroid health… to reclaim the vibrant health YOU deserve!