Back when dangers of trans fat were unknown,none cared to check the food label for this unhealthiest kind of fat.Lots changed after discovering the link between the growing number of heart disease and the daily careless consumption of trans fats;every food label is now required to mention about the quantity of trans fat under the nutrition facts.
What is a Trans Fat?
Simply put,it an altered or processed form of fat.Altered by injecting in Hydrogen(H2) under pressure(with metals like nickel as catalyst) in to the vegetable fats that results in change of the fat's original state,when it partially hardened at room temperature the fat becomes "Partially hydrogenated" and fully hardened the fat is called "Fully hydrogenated",either of those are the heart's biggest enemies,a leading cause for heart disease.
Why is this harmful oil used commercially?
Partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats are used in processed foods to preserve its shelf life and also for its milder taste.
Trans fat found in other foods
Besides some processed foods like cakes ,cookies, fried foods like French fries and doughnuts,we may be consuming some amounts of trans fats through foods like butter,pork,lamb and other fatty dairy products.
How much Trans Fat is safe according to the Nutritionists?
No more than 2g is recommended for a healthy diet.If you eat high fat red meat and dairy regularly,then you may be getting the required dose ,leaving no room for such commercial products with trans fats.
Margarine or Shortening or Butter,which is worst?
Even though Margarine or Shortening are cholesterol free,the trans fat content makes them just as bad or some times worse than butter depending on its concentration of trans fat.And butter even though nearly free in trans fat ,is a high cholesterol food,hence best if minimized in consumption.
Be careful when reading the nutrition labels ,unless otherwise labeled as "trans fat free" margarine or shortening or butter have some amount of trans fat.Even "0g" does not mean its free of trans.According to the nutrition labeling tricky(ridiculous!) rules ,unless trans fat is greater than 0.5grams the food is still labeled as 0 gram.
If you are not vegan,regular on high fat red meat and dairy, its recommended to avoid trans fatty commercial products and consume Saturated fats under limits i.e about 15 grams(little more than a tablespoon) a day.Of course even Vegans have to check the labels and consume trans fats within daily allowed limit (2grams) for an over all good health.
Spiced-up Peach Mini-Tarts
Originating from China,these gorgeous fruits rich in Vitamin A and C make a delicious juicy topping for the tarts with hint of spices.
Often pies,biscuits and tarts call for saturated fats such as butter or shortening for a crumbly scrumptious crust.Instead of generous use to solid fats which can clog the arteries,use fat under limits.2 tablespoons for 3 servings is well under the limits for this mini tarts recipe.
Makes about 6 mini tarts.
1 cup Whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon Organic butter or Vegetable Shortening(Trans fat free),cold and cut in cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
2-3 tablespoon cold water
2 peaches or nectarines(fresh please not canned),chopped
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Prepare the dough
Sift the flours,salt and cinnamon in bowl. Mix in the butter or shortening,using a food processor pulse while adding the cold water ,until just combined in to a crumbly mixture. Or use 2 fork and break the butter in to flour and mix it up while adding the cold water.Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and allow to refrigerate for 30 minutes
Prepare the Topping
Mix all the ingredients under the topping list about 5 minutes before rolling the crust.
Bake the tarts
Preheat Oven to 350F
Unwrap the dough. Spread some all purpose flour on work surface.Divide the dough in to 6 equal portions.Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough about 4 inches in size.Place the dough on a baking tray and put the fruit filling in the center leaving out the edges.Bake for about 15-18 minutes until the edges of tart are lightly crisp.Serve warm.
These peachy tarts are off to Sunshinemom's Food In Colors event,the color of the month is Orange and host is Aparna of My diverse Kitchen.