Fueling the Heart with Wrong Fat
The preferred fuel of the heart is fatty acids. Fatty acids are the building blocks of the fat in our bodies and in the food we eat. During digestion, the body breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can then be absorbed into the blood. On a similar note, protein breaks down into amino acids and then is absorbed into the blood.
Trans-fats are present in a wide range of foods. Tran- fats are a mainstay of the food industry. Why? They enhance the flavor, texture, and more importantly the shelf life of many processed foods: ice-cream, cakes, biscuits, pizza, potato chips, doughnuts, some sugary breakfast cereals, etc. The list goes on. Know that they are more hazardous for your heart, however.
How are they hazardous to the heart?
The rate at which our enzymes break down trans-fatty acids is slower than the rate at which they break down natural fatty acids. Since the fuel of the heart is fatty acids the slower breakdown of trans-fatty acids has adverse effects. High trans-fatty acid consumption may lower the heart’s ability to perform. Under stressful, increased activity, or crisis, the heart is forced to perform at optimal level to cope with the unwarranted situation. However, the fuel provided by trans-fatty acids breaks down slowly than expected. The fuel provided by trans-fatty acids thus becomes questionable.
Moreover, it is paramount to note that natural fatty acids are more dispersed; on the other hand, unnatural trans-fatty acids are stickier. The platelets (the substance that help the blood to clot) become stickier. This in turn increases the likelihood of a clot in a small blood vessel causing stroke and heart attacks.
I believe you have obtained the take home message. Think twice before you eat your Lays chips, pizza, bakery products, etc. Don’t think that you are born to eat. On the contrary, you live to eat. Moreover, eat healthy and live healthy. Life, I suppose, is a marathon. Think in the long-term.