Trans fat is bad for you. There are no health benefits to eating it and excessive consumption can result in serious health concerns.
Also known as trans fatty acids, trans fat is a deadly addition to your favorite junk foods. As it is naturally only found in dairy and certain meats, trans fat needs to be industrially produced. The resulting fat-- which may read on the label as partially hydrogenated oil-- lasts longer and is consequently added to foods to lengthen their shelf life. However, as the FDA no longer recognizes trans fat as being safe for consumption, many food manufacturers have begun removing it from their products. This luckily means that it is less prevalent in food than it was about ten years ago. However, trans fat can still often be found in (but not limited to) pre-packaged baked goods, margarine, fried food, fast food, chips, and microwaveable popcorn.
So why is this fat so bad for you? For one, trans fat has the special ability of not only raising your bad cholesterol (LDL), but simultaneously lowering your good cholesterol (HDL), too. The buildup of LDL in your arteries can then lead to strokes and heart attacks. Eating excessive amounts of trans fat can also contribute to the development of heart disease and type II diabetes. It can increase any inflammation throughout your body, thereby increasing the likelihood of developing illnesses associated with inflammation, such as metabolic syndrome, cancers, and arthritis. Not surprisingly, a higher intake of trans fat is also associated with a higher incidence of obesity. All of these issues inevitably lead to a more imminent death.
For all of the bad that trans fat does, surely there must be some good, too? Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where there are all cons and no pros. Health professionals recommend that you limit your intake of trans fat to no more than 1% of your daily calories in order to reduce your risk of the issues associated with its consumption. If you can, cut it out of your diet completely so that you can increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.
Possible short-term side effects
- feeling weighed down and sluggish
Possible long-term side effects
- heart disease
- heart attack
- type 2 diabetes
- early death
Commonly found in
- monounsaturated fat
- polyunsaturated fat
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Written by Lindsay | 02-05-2016
Written by Lindsay
Suggest improvement or correction