Trans Fat

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trans fats are man-made and were developed originally to protect us against butter. Turns out, it acts like butter inside our body. Dr. Edward Hill talks about trans fats in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat which is uncommon in nature but can be created artificially. Manufacturers create trans fats by a process called hydrogenation. Vegetable oils are converted to solid fats by adding hydrogen atoms.

Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods. Trans fats can be found in vegetable shortening, margarine, crackers, cereals, chips, fried foods and many other processed foods.

Trans fatty acids are found naturally in small quantities, but most trans fatty acids in the diet come from hydrogenated foods.

Trans fats were developed during the backlash against saturated fatthe artery-clogging animal fats found in butter, cream and meats.

Like saturated or animal fats, trans fats contribute to clogged arteries. Trans fats raise low-density lipoprotein, also called LDL or bad cholesterol levels. This contributes to the buildup of fatty plaque in arteries.

Limiting your consumption of trans fat is one step you can take to lower your risk of heart disease.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.