Health & Fitness

By Megan Grady

You’ve finally mastered the Downward-facing Dog in yoga class, you’ve made a conscience effort to add a little green to your diet, and you haven’t touched a cigarette since Carrie Bradshaw made the patch a must-have wardrobe accessory back in 2001. Now it’s 2007 and you’re realizing that all your efforts towards a healthy lifestyle and a healthy heart may have been in vain due to the recently revealed heart villain, trans fat, which lures in an array of dietary products.

When Starbucks announced they were banning trans fat earlier this year, I have to admit I was a little shocked, to say the least. Who knew that innocent looking, reduced-fat bran muffin was really a trans fat culprit in disguise? Whether or not this particular pastry contained the dreaded ingredient, we still can’t say for sure. What we do know is that Los Angeles based Starbucks stores have finally made their alluring pastry cases completely free of trans fat.

pastry_case.jpg

Looks like Starbucks started a trend. New York City is trying to ban trans fat in many of their restaurants, and McDonalds is making headlines with their efforts to eliminate the vicious fat from their menu. It’s about time!

So why all the attention on trans fat? According to the American Heart Association, one of the best ways to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease is to reduce the amount of saturated and trans fat from your diet. Simply put, trans fat boosts your level of “bad” cholesterol, putting you at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke.

We all know the heart is delicate in several aspects. Though we may not be able to protect it from all the aches life will throw its way, we can make an effort to keep it healthy by simply watching the fuel we feed it because a healthy heart is a happy heart.

Originally published February 2007
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