What are fatty acids?
Called trans fatty acids, trans fats, or hydrogenated fats, these type of fats are designed by adding hydrogen to the vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation. The use of these fats in processed food preparation help to prolong their freshness guarantee term and improving the attractive appearance on the shelves. Trans fats are not considered healthy, and even more than that, trans fats may short your memory because they are affecting the brain.
After a few years after their discovery, trans fats has started to be used by manufacturers of processed foods on a large scale, thanks to the positive effects on intensifying the flavor, texture, and resistance of food, from frozen pizza to cakes.
Small amounts of trans fats are formed naturally in certain types of foods of animal origin, such as beef, lamb, and dairy fat.
Since 2006, the authorities that regulate food safety standards imposed on manufacturers to specify the amounts of trans fat that are used, so that consumers are informed about the risks posed upon consuming them.
Maximum limit trans fats in diets
Like saturated fats, trans fats raise the bad cholesterol levels and increase the risk of developing heart diseases. But unlike these, trans fats also have the adverse effect of reducing the good cholesterol, raising additional health risks.
Normally, the maximum limit of saturated fat in the diet requires that these substances not to exceed 7% of the daily calories and trans fat reduces the maximum percentage to 1%.
Dangerous trans fats and foods in which they can be found.
Health specialists warn us of the danger that we’re exposed to when eating plenty of foods with trans fats, which are dangerous in high concentrations and that being the reason why many manufacturers in the food industry have shifted their recipes, so to replace a larger proportion of the trans fatty acids with other substances that are not as harmful as trans fats.
Currently, you can buy processed foods, such as cakes or margarine without any trans fat in their composition. Even so, there are still many types of products that are having a huge popularity among consumers, which are prepared with trans fats in really dangerous quantities.
Carefully read the products’ labels and check whether or not they are free of trans fats. Those who lack these ingredients and contain fewer saturated fats are certainly the healthiest among this kind of products.
Foods that are most likely to contain trans fats are:
- cakes, biscuits, cookies, pie dough or pizza, hamburger buns
- margarine and vegetable creams for cooking (if not specified otherwise on the products’ labels)
- mixtures of cakes, pies, and instant chocolate
- fried foods such as donuts, French fries, fried chicken pieces, and so forth
- snacks such as chips, wafers, candy, popcorn
- frozen preparations
Trans fats may short your memory.
There are also some studies according to which the trans fats can increase the risk of diabetes and cancer.
Same studies conclusions have shown that what we eat affects how we think, too. It is important to note that the chemical structure of trans fats affects the brain functions. Thus, a diet rich in trans fats slows thinking, affecting memory and learning.
It has been conducted a study involving 1,000 men aged under 45 years. Thus, those who ate more foods containing trans fats obtained low scores on a memory test that involved withholding words.
Lead researcher, Dr. Beatrice Golomb from the University of California, said that the ‘trans fats are associated with memory loss. In terms of health, the consumption of trans fats is linked to weight gain and increased risk heart disease. As I tell my patients, the trans fats increase the life of food, but reduces the life of people’.
Eat fresh, carefully choose the products that contain lesser or none trans fats amounts, because, besides the proven fact that the trans fats may short your memory, these hydrogenated fats may also cause cancers, diabetes, and heart diseases.