Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Doughnut Health Facts

One of the most beloved foods in the United States is the doughnut or as it is popularly spelled, donut. Who invented the doughnut? Where did it come from? What is it made of? Why is it called a donut or doughnut? Why do I care?

Doughnuts are fried, full of sugar and white flour and most all varieties contain trans fat. Store-bought doughnuts are made up of about 35 percent to 40 percent trans fat.

An average doughnut will give you about 200 to 300 calories, mostly from sugar, and few other nutrients.

It's too bad that Americans view doughnuts as a breakfast food as, nutritionally speaking, eating a doughnut is one of the worst ways to start off your day. It will throw off your blood sugar and won't stay with you so you'll be hungry again soon. You are better off eating no breakfast at all, or better yet grabbing a quick glass of Whey Healthier.

Alberto Ascherio, a physician and Doctor of Public Health at the Department of Nutrition of the Harvard School of Public Health, and four associates reported that the amount of trans fatty acids consumed by the average American—though just 2 percent of total calories—was associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease of between 14 and 93 percent in three major studies. These studies and others suggest that, gram for gram, trans fatty acids pose a much greater risk to cardiovascular health than saturated fat. Why?

Saturated fat increases blood levels of bad, artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. But trans fatty acids go further: they also decrease blood levels of good, artery-protective HDL cholesterol.

Trans fatty acids are more likely than saturates to interfere with noncardiovascular processes in the body. Trans are the "evil twin brothers" of the cis fatty acids that naturally abound in vegetable oils. They have been mutated from cis to trans by extreme heat. In the body, while trans fatty acids can impersonate cis, they can't be put to the same constructive use, whether as precursors to prostaglandins (important hormonelike substances), components of supple cellular membranes, or for other vital functions. Trans are strictly bad news—the worst kind of fat you can eat, according to the Harvard scientists.

It's not just hydrogenated margarines that harbour these mutant fats. Extreme heat processing ensures that refined cooking oils are a significant source too, compounded by frying with them. Worst of all are the oils used and reused day after day in restaurants. They typically contain over 30 percent trans fatty acids, making deep-fried fast foods as deadly as they are delectable. Baked goods and other store-bought foods prepared with refined cooking oil or partially hydrogenated fat also are pretty poisons.

So. beware for you doughnut lover!!

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