Interesting facts about trans fats, what are trans-fats and why are they harmful to us?
The World Health Organization plans to remove trans fats from all foods by 2023. However, what you have heard is not all fat is the same. Our body relies on healthy fats such as poly- and monounsaturated fats (found in fish, avocados and nuts) to create hormones, produce energy, and absorb certain nutrients.
On the other hand, the consumption of artificial trans fats (mainly in processed foods) may increase the risk of life-threatening diseases. That is why the World Health Organization plans to remove artificial trans fats from all foods worldwide by 2023.
What is trans fats?
There are two types of trans fats: natural trans fats and artificial trans fats. Animals that produce meat and dairy products naturally produce small amounts of trans fats in their intestines. In turn, traces of known quantities of trans fats are found in the foods we get from these animals.
However, there is insufficient research to determine the impact of these trans fatty acids on human health.
Artificial trans fats are another thing. They are man-made by a process called hydrogenation in which hydrogen molecules are added to liquid fats (such as vegetable oil) to convert them into solid fats, which results in partial hydrogenated oils.
Why do trans fats add to our food?
They are the most common type of trans fats used in processed foods such as biscuits, canned foods, semi-prepared foods, potato chips, coffee cream and fried foods such as fries and donuts.
Very little was known about the effects of trans fats on health before 1990, so companies used them because they are cheap, easy to use and have a long shelf life.
How does trans fat affect our health?
Foods rich in trans fats are high in added sugar and calories to pave the way for weight gain and type 2 diabetes, according to the US National Medical Library.
They are bad for the heart.
In the 2015 meta-analysis, published in the British Medical Journal, Canadian researchers reviewed 20 studies that analyzed the impact of trans-fats on human health in several countries. They found that eating trans fats was associated with a 34% increase in death for any reason, a 28% increase in heart disease mortality and a 21% increase in the risk of developing heart disease.
Are All trans fats Bad?
Although the FDA ban on trans fats comes into force at the national level this year, you still need to be careful about reading food labels. Ensure that partially hydrogenated oils are not found anywhere in the ingredients list. When you go to a restaurant, ask the waiter for the types of oils you use for frying or best avoid fried foods if they can not provide you with such information.
It is important to know that you should not confuse trans fat with saturated and unsaturated fat. The recommendations of nutritionists are that 25 to 30 percent of your daily calories must be fat, with no more than 10 percent of them saturated. If you need 2000 calories a day, 500 calories can come from beneficial fats such as eggs, nuts, avocados and olive oil.
While you may have heard that saturated fats are also bad for your heart, they are not as dangerous as trans fats. However, high saturated fat foods may have been processed, too salty, or too much sugar, so limiting the intake is still important, says Hanks. The best you can do for yourself is to emphasize one-component forms of fat like avocado, nuts and olive oil to get the most health benefits.