Australia's #1 Natural Health Site

Search 3058 Articles

Understanding Trans Fatty Acids

Understanding Trans Fatty Acids

We’ve all heard about the dangers of saturated fats, such as those found in meat and dairy products, but there’s a new type of fat that may prove to be just as dangerous, and it’s found in all of our diets.  These are trans fatty acids, also known as trans fats.  But why is it so bad for us?

How Trans Fatty Acids are Formed

Since it was found that saturated fats are harmful to a person’s health, manufacturers have started to use vegetable oils in their products rather than animal products.  However, liquid vegetable oils are not heat stable and can go rancid very easily.  To combat this, the unsaturated vegetable oils are hydrogenated.  Hydrogenation is simply where hydrogen is added to the oil so that they are able to better withstand heat and have a longer shelf life.

Unfortunately, this hydrogenation process produces trans fatty acids.

Why Are Trans Fatty Acids Bad?

Trans fatty acids increase the levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol  while lowering the levels of the HDL or “good” cholesterol.  As a result, the risk of heart disease increases, as does the risk of stroke. Higher levels of trans fatty acids in the diet may also be linked to type 2 diabetes.

Because trans fatty acids are not at all essential to the diet, it is thus recommended that a person consumes as little of these as possible.

Where Trans Fatty Acids are Found

Trans fatty acids can be found in a surprising number of foods and you may not always be aware that you are eating them.  Trans fatty acids are most commonly found in commercially packaged baked or fried foods.  These include French fries, doughnuts, cakes, biscuits, pastries, muffins, croissants, chips, and other snack foods.  It is also commonly found in margarine.  In fact, any food that has the words “partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils”, “hydrogenated vegetable oils”, or “shortening”, probably has trans fatty acids in it.

Trans fatty acids can also be found naturally in certain foods such as dairy products, beef, and lamb, or during the refining of liquid vegetable oils.  However, these only occur in small amounts.

Topic: Nutrition

Weight Loss Programs

Weight Loss Programs

Trying to lose weight?

02 9555 5635

0419 416 265

By View To Health

Body and Being - LEURA MALL - Blue Mountains

Body and Being - LEURA MALL - Blue Mountains

Body and Being is renowned for luxurious quality treatments including massage therapies, facials and...

02 4784 3406

02 4784 3406

By Body and Being Leura

About Sutherland Shire Naturopathic Clinic

About Sutherland Shire Naturopathic Clinic

Recommended as 1 of 5 best Natural Therapy Clinics by the Sydney Morning Herald "Good Weekend" magaz...

02 9545 2977

By Sutherland Shire Naturopathic Clinic

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition

Clinical Nutrition is a specialist branch of Nutrition & Dietetics that demonstrates an inherent...

07 3861 5834

By Livewell Clinics - Chermside, Cannon Hill, Kenmore

Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture

Li Chen is a registered traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner and acupuncturist with over ...

(02) 4942 3996

By Li Chen Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture

Featured Articles