What are trans fats?
Trans fats are modified molecules that appear in unsaturated( vegetable) oils and fats during high-temperature processing. In minimal quantities, trans fats can also be found in nature, but after hydrolysis their share often rises to 20% or even 50%.
Since trans fats are found in margarine and in refined vegetable oil, they can be found in any product, including these ingredients - from semi-finished products and various pastries, to french fries and other fried in oil fastfood.
Danger of refined oils
In the process of high-temperature treatment, fat or oil molecules can change. Despite the fact that their chemical formula and the number of elements are preserved, one or more atoms are joined differently. As a result, the fat molecule appears trans-isomer, called trans fat.
Note that trans fats also appear during the usual cooking in a frying pan. That's why some oils are suitable for frying, and others - absolutely not. Particularly harmful to health are margarine, refined palm, sunflower and corn oil.
Harm to trans fats
Numerous scientific studies confirm the harm of trans fats for health. It has been proven that regular consumption of even small doses of trans fats in food( 1) disrupts normal metabolism, provokes obesity, and leads to the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Because fatty acids are used by the body for the synthesis of sex hormones, trans fats can adversely affect testosterone levels in men( 2).Among other things, they worsen the synthesis of insulin in the body, forcing the body to intensively store calories in subcutaneous fat.
Trans fats in margarine
Before trans fats were officially recognized as harmful, soft margarine contained up to 10-20% of trans fats, solid margarine for baking - up to 40%.Currently, the US and European countries have set the upper limit for spending - no more than 2% of the total amount of fat in the product.
At the beginning of 2010, regulators insisted that the number of trans-fats in products be measured and must be indicated on the package. However, these rules have not affected Russia and Latin American countries, where it is not yet necessary to indicate the content of trans fats in products.
Transfats: a health hazard dose of
The studies of Harvard School of Public Health ( 1) show that a change in metabolism can result in eating trans fat from 2% of total daily calories. In terms of grams, this amounts to 3-4 grams of trans fats a day - or a tablespoon of margarine.
However, it must be understood that trans fats are more a carcinogen than a direct poison. They do not cause instant health damage, but only gradually worsen the metabolism, provoking the development of various diseases. In fact, for years you can eat margarine without the appearance of dangerous symptoms.
Examples of products with
trans fats In a certain amount, trans fats are found in of all products fried in oil or containing margarine. Starting from chips, french fries and chicken wings, ending with sausage, pastries, ice cream, desserts, pasta sauces and even dry cream for coffee( 3).
Average portion of French fries can contain up to 10-15 g of trans fats, fried chicken KFC - 5-7 g, one donate - 5 g, a small packet of chips - 3 g, a portion of dry breakfast - 2 g. Recall that it is dangerous forhuman health dose is a regular intake of 3-4 grams of trans fats per day.
Why are we being poisoned?
The history of trans-fats began with the search for a cheap replacement for butter. In 1901, a process was invented that made it possible to convert liquid from nature palm oil into a solid substance by using nitrous acid and passing hydrogen bubbles through boiling oil.
The modern food industry is completely dependent on deeply processed and refined vegetable oils - they are cheap, tasteless and have a long shelf life. Without these oils( and without margarine), it is impossible to make the majority of "store" food products.
Trans fats, which are produced in fats and oils under temperature treatment, can harm health. Their content in products is legislatively limited in many countries, but not in Russia. The leaders in the content of trans fats are margarine and any food fried in vegetable oil.
- Trans fatty acids: effects on metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes, Micha R, Mozaffarian D., Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, source
- Dorgan, J.F., J.T.Judd, C. Longcope, C. Brown, A. Schatzkin, B.A.Clevidence, W.S.Campbell, P.P.Nair, C. Franz, L. Kahle, AND P.R.Taylor. Effects of dietary fat and fiber on plasma and urine androgens and estrogens in men: A controlled feeding study. Am J Clin Nutr, 64: 850-855, 1996
- Top 10 Foods With Trans Fats, source