You have heard about them everywhere and know they are bad but no one has ever really said much more than that about them so let’s talk some more about trans fats and what they really are.
They are also called trans fatty acids and they are created when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid. They are also known as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Everything changes and if you are a label reader, they may no longer list partially hydrogenated vegetable oil they may just list transfats, or it could be the other way around since everyone knows that the latter is a bad thing. There does have to be truth in advertising but anyway they can skirt that truth is in their best interest.
If you should see a product that has the number 0 of these fatty acids and then further reading tells you that the product contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oil then you know that they are lying. They are one and the same. If the list contains the word shortening then the item contains these bad fatty acids and you should try to find something else to use.
As a medical professional, I know that they contribute to the increase of the production of bad cholesterol or LDL, and also can lower the good cholesterol level in your body. Not good for optimal heart health, try your best not to consume them.
I also know that they are added to food to give them a longer shelf life without spoiling and make them stay fresher longer but tasteless greasy as well. Some may think that giving a food item a longer shelf life may be a good thing but when that item with the longer shelf life can take years off of your life if you eat it is it really worth the risk? I do not thinks so. My advice is to eat them in very small doses.
There are all kinds of things that you can find them in at the store, cookies, crackers, pre-made pie crusts, etc. If you are a fan of margarine, don’t use it anymore, use real butter. Margarine has a ton of these fatty acids.
Deceit is everywhere, by the way, remember when I used the number 0 earlier? Well, guess what? The FDA says that any food product that contains 0.5% or less of these dangerous fatty acids the amount can be listed as having zero percent fatty acids. So do be careful if you are eating something that says zero because it very well, may have a half of a percent’s worth and that can add up quickly if you are just munching.
There are naturally occurring sources of transfats and these foods should be limited in your diet as well. Foods like some dairy products, beef, and lamb all contain small amounts. The jury is still out on whether there are adverse effects on cholesterol levels with the naturally occurring fatty acids like there is with the man-made stuff.