Want a flat stomach?

Avoid THIS nasty ingredient

If a flat stomach is your goal, stop doing sit-ups for a moment and pay attention to this: certain types of dietary fat are more likely to go to your waistline than others.  A 2006 study at Wake Forest University suggests that trans fat, a man-made substance in which vegetable oil is infused with hydrogen atoms, gloms onto your gut harder and faster than other types of dietary fat. Trans fat is found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and its derivatives, margarine and vegetable shortening.

In the Wake Forest study, 51 monkeys were fed a Boxed cake mixes are loaded with trans fat.Credit: Ian Britton/FreeFoto.comdiet consisting of 35% fat for 6 years. All monkeys received the same number of calories per day, but some monkeys dined exclusively on unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts and olive oil, while other monkeys ate trans fat. In the end, the latter group gained a significantly higher amount of weight than the former, suggesting that it’s not just the number of calories you eat, but the kind of food you put in your mouth that matters.

A diet high in trans fat not only causes weight gain, it can also lead to a bigger belly, says Dr. Lawrence L. Rudel, Wake Forest researcher. According to Rudel, flooding the body with unhealthy hydrogenated oils and shortening can actually cause adipose tissue to redistribute itself from other regions of the body to the abdomen. Conversely, a diet high in monounsaturated fats can help whittle a flabby waistline.

These findings give hope to those who dream of a flat stomach and aren’t finding success with diet and exercise alone.

In addition to its detrimental cosmetic effects, trans fat has been shown to raise cholesterol and increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So even if you’re not worried about your waistline, take heed when shopping for groceries and eating out; this sinister substance will take a swipe at your entire well-being if you’re not careful.Fast food fries contain trans fat.Credit: Ian Britton/FreeFoto.com

Trans fat is a key ingredient in many boxed snacks, baked goods, and fast food products (French fries are a big one). It may also be found lurking in unexpected grocery items, like cereal, instant potatoes, and microwave popcorn. Some manufacturers prefer to use unhealthy hydrogenated oils and shortenings because these ingredients enhance the freshness and prolong the shelf life of food, thereby ensuring sales. The well-being of the consumer is not usually figured into this money-making equation.

Fortunately, the public has caught on. Due to mounting research and increasing awareness of the evils of trans fat, more and more food companies are cutting this ingredient from their recipes.

You can easily eliminate hydrogenated oil and shortening from your diet by reading the nutrition labels on the foods you eat. It should be noted that food companies have the right to call their products “trans fat free” if one serving contains less than half a gram of the stuff. Protect your health, and get the flat stomach of your dreams, by avoiding products that list hydrogenated oil and/or vegetable shortening among their ingredients.

Your waistline will thank you.

Boxed cake mixes contain trans fat.

Boxed cake mixes are loaded with trans fat.(42742)
Credit: Ian Britton/ (c)FreeFoto.com

Trans fat, trans fat everywhere!

Fast food fries contain trans fat.(42743)
Credit: Ian Britton/ (c)FreeFoto.com