- Trans fat increases your LDL cholesterol, and significantly raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Artificial trans fat is typically found in packaged foods like baked goods and snacks, as well as restaurant food.
- It’s made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil, therefore creating partially hydrogenated oil.
- The FDA is making an effort to eliminate trans fat by banning it in the country.
Take a look at any nutrition label, and you’ll be faced with two kinds of fats: saturated and trans. While neither of these are the kinds of healthy fats found in foods like nuts and avocados (those are monounsaturated fats ), one of them is particularly dangerous — trans fat. This is the kind of fat that the New York Times recently referred to as ” the worst fat in the food supply. ” That’s because it significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, more specifically strokes, heart attacks, and sudden cardiac deaths.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that upping the number of calories from trans fat in your diet by just 2% can lead to a 29% increase in the chances of coronary heart disease. It’s also known to raise your LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol), and lower your HDL cholesterol (the good kind). While trans fat does occur naturally in certain meat and dairy products, it’s most commonly created through the addition of hydrogen to vegetable oil, an industrial process that solidifies the oil, resulting in what’s known as partially hydrogenated oil.
Partially hydrogenated oil keeps longer than other oils, meaning that foods made with it don’t spoil as easily. It’s used in many packaged foods like baked goods and snacks, which is why these often contain trans fat. Restaurants also typically use the oil for frying. Many people have started replacing the trans fat in their diet with saturated fat, a fat that occurs naturally in many animal products like meat and dairy. It’s also found in coconut oil, and is the reason that experts have recently debated its health benefits. While making the switch from trans to saturated fat, is better for your health, it’s still a good idea to watch your saturated fat intake. This fat too has been known to raise LDL cholesterol if eaten in large quantities.
Article credit: INSIDER
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