Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid(s). Trans fats may be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated but never saturated. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not essential, and they … see full wiki
Trans fats may be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated but never saturated. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not essential, and they do not promote good health. The consumption of trans fats increases one's risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Health authorities worldwide recommend that consumption of trans fat be reduced to trace amounts. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are more harmful than naturally occurring oils. If that wasn't bad enough, many believe that trans-fats also increase the risk of dibetes, Alzheimer's, cancer, infertility, obesity and liver dysfunction.
Foods where you may find high amount of trans-fats:
Margarine and butter - loaded with trans fats and saturated fats
Packaged foods - some cake mixes, Bisquick
Soup cups - Ramen noodles, for example
Cookies and cakes (with shortening-based frostings) - from supermarket bakeries have plenty of trans fat.
Frozen Food - frozen pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas, even breaded fish sticks contain trans fat
Baked goods - more trans fats are used in commercially baked products than any other foods
Fast Food - fries, chicken, and other foods are deep-fried in partially hydrogenated oil. Even if the chains use liquid oil, fries are sometimes partially fried in trans fat before they're shipped to the restaurant.
According to BanTransFats.com, the following are what we need to know about trans-fats:
Avoid products which have the words "partially hydrogenated" or "shortening" in the ingredients list.
If the label says zero trans fats, don't believe it. If the words "partially hydrogenated" or "shortening" are in the ingredients list, it DOES contain trans fat.
Be careful when consuming products with labels from outside the United States. Sometimes they contain partially hydrogenated oil but it's not on the label.
In restaurants, bakeries, and other eateries, ask whether they use partially hydrogenated oil for frying or baking or in salad dressings. If they say they use vegetable oil, ask whether it is partially hydrogenated. Don't be shy about asking. Assume that all unlabeled baked and fried goods contain partially hydrogenated oil, unless you know otherwise.
Keep saturated fat intake low too. This is very important.
Remember that polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fats are good fats.
Cholesterol that affects our arteries comes from two sources: (i) animal products and (ii) bad fats. If a product is "cholesterol fee," that doesn't mean that it won't raise your bad cholesterol. If the product itself contains no cholesterol but it does contain trans fat or saturated fat, it will raise your bad cholesterol.
In a nutshell, trans fats are bad news. With my family history of cardiac issues, I'm very aware of these naughty trans fats and I avoid them when I can. Keeping away from them can improve your health.