Trans fatsResearch has shown that trans fats contribute to cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; low birth weight, growth problems, and learning disabilities in children.

Trans fat, found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils became widely popularized as a “healthier alternative” to saturated animal fats like butter and lard around the mid-1950’s. In fact, the complete opposite is true. Trans fat is so dangerous to health, that the FDA in America are considering banning it from food.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also called for the elimination of trans fats from the global food supply. They state, “There is convincing evidence that TFA (trans fatty acids) from commercial partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO) increase CHD (coronary heart disease) risk factors and CHD events – more so than had been thought in the past. There also is probable evidence of an increased risk of fatal CHD and sudden cardiac death in addition to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome components and diabetes. “


The hazards of trans fats

Trans fats are formed when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil during food processing in order to make it solidify. This process, known as hydrogenation, makes fats less likely to spoil, so foods stay fresh longer, have a longer shelf life and also have a less greasy feel. However, the end result is a completely unnatural fat that causes cellular dysfunction. Most processed foods contain at least 1 type of trans fat.

The risks involved in consuming trans fats include; Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, liver dysfunction, infertility, depression and behavioural disorders.

How can I avoid trans fats?

Check the ingredients and look for partially hydrogenated oil. If the product lists this ingredient, it likely contains trans fat. The laws in Australia do not currently require food producers to list hydrogenated or trans fats on labels, so avoiding processed foods altogether is really the best way to ensure these nasties don’t make their way into your diet. [2]

Saturated fats should be incorporated as part of a balanced diet

Mounting scientific evidence supports saturated fat as a necessary part of a heart healthy diet, and firmly debunks the myth that saturated fat promotes heart disease. But the ultimate answer to heart disease is to EAT REAL FOOD. Eat a balanced diet, not one full of processed foods, high in sugars and trans fats. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, including animal fats and unsaturated vegetable fats (like olive oil, avocados, nuts and so forth), that will ensure that your body gets all the things it needs, and none of the stuff it doesn’t.





Nepean Naturopathic Centre – making health easy


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