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High Blood Pressure Medicine

Trans Fats Are Another Cause of High Blood Pressure

Thursday, November 09, 2006

By Kevin Riley

Tip! Activity - people who lead active lives are much less likely to develop high blood pressure or heart and artery disease.

When the demand for butter exceeded the ability of farmers to supply this desirable fat ... the search for a substitute started us on a road to trans fats, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Not until 20 years ago did we finally discover the dangers of trans fats.

How Did Trans Fats Enter our Food Supply?

In the 1860s butter was in great demand and there just wasn't enough to satisfy everybody. Emperor Louis Napoleon III offered a prize for a substitute ... and so, the first margarine was invented by a French chemist. It was created from clarified beef fat.

It wasn't until 40 years later that the process of hydrogenation was developed ... and the door to deadly trans fats was opened. Butter rationing during two worlds wars and the lower cost of margarine ... had more and more people switching to this butter substitute -- made from cheap vegetable fats.

Tip! Smoking - cigarette smoking does not cause high blood pressure. Smoking reduces the oxygen supply to the heart and increases the heart's demand for oxygen.

When vegetable oils are hydrogenated ... their molecules are chemically re-arranged. This produces a fat -- trans fat -- that becomes semi-hard at room temperature. Basically, trans fats mimic the saturated fats that our taste buds love. We are naturally drawn to the taste and the consistency.

The semi-solid trans fats are great for baking ... and not expensive like butter or lard. This is a big plus for food processors ... and the reason trans fats are found in most baked goods -- as well as fried foods. While this cheap alternative to butter is a boon for the food makers ... it is a dangerous bust for consumers. In the US alone, an estimated 100,000 people die prematurely every year ... due to the use of trans fats.

Tip! Depression, though not directly related to high blood pressure, is often one of the consequences when hypertension begins to affect the body's organs and the health issues become more complicated.

So What's so Bad About Trans Fats?

Trans fats have the worst effect on your cholesterol levels of all fats. They drive up your levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol ... at the same time lowering your levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol. Trans fats' overall effect on your cholesterol levels is ... twice as bad as the effect of saturated fats.

Recently, trans fats have also come under fire for damaging the lining of your arteries. It's this damage that leads to hardening of the arteries and higher blood pressure. The linings of your arteries play a very important role in controlling blood pressure. When these vital linings become damaged, their function is impaired -- resulting in high blood pressure.

How Can You Avoid Trans Fats?

Tip! Weight - people who are overweight are more at risk of high blood pressure than those who are of normal weight. Blood pressure tends to rise as body weight increases.

Although trans fats were first used in margarine ... most margarines have eliminated this deadly fat. But, they're still found in many baked goods and fried foods. In fact, because of their low cost and convenience -- trans fats keep foods from spoiling -- hydrogenated oils are being used even more.

Keep clear of donuts, French fries, pastries, fast foods ... even the seemingly healthy granola bar often contains this dangerous fat. Check labels carefully ... avoid any food that contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Finally, a Little Help from the FDA

Fortunately, it is starting to get easier to find these dangerous trans fats -- and avoid them. As of January 2006, the FDA is requiring food makers to list the trans fat content ... on the Nutrition Facts label found on all products.

Even a small amount of trans fats in your diet is bad for your heart health. Switch over to healthier fats today. Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, some fats will even help you lower your blood pressure. Olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish will give your body a good dose of healthy fats.

Tip! Family history - a history of high blood pressure in your family can put you into a high risk group of having high blood pressure. It is common for high blood pressure to be passed down from generation to generation.

Kevin Riley is a long-time natural health advocate and researcher ... and the author of the exciting new program "Get Natural! Drop Your Blood Pressure". Discover more at http://www.naturalbloodpressure.com

5:07 AM

1 Comments:

Trans fat naturally occurs in some foods, like butter, but are also formed in the processing of some foods where product texture and shelf life are desired. I’ve learned a lot about this subject because I work with the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers. In addition, heart disease runs in my family so I’ve got a personal interest in this subject as well.

Have you looked at a margarine label lately? You won’t find any soft or liquid margarine that contain trans fat, and trans fat levels of stick margarines have been greatly reduced. Using new technologies, margarine manufacturers have met the challenge and eliminated or reduced trans fat in margarine products, making a good product even better. In fact, the margarine industry has led the food industry in removing trans fat content from its products. Soft, liquid and spray margarine products are now in sync with the recommendations included in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid food guidance system. Soft margarine products were elevated in their importance in that they “help meet essential fatty acid needs and also contribute toward Vitamin E needs” according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.

When comparing margarine to butter, many margarine products are the recommended alternative as stated by of the American Heart Association, as well as the Federal government’s National Cholesterol Education Program. And yes, it’s still an economical choice for the consumer. For more information, visit http://margarine.org/qanda.html, http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/cholmonth/chol_kit.htm and http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200000.
commented by Blogger Emma, 5:45 AM  

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