Effects of Trans Fats on your Health

Tran’s fatty acids negatively modify the lipid profile, negatively affect cellular functions, accumulate in the adipose tissue and in the phospholipids of cell membranes, the consumption of this type of fats constitutes a danger for the health, they increase the levels of bad cholesterol and it diminishes the good cholesterol reason why they increase the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization recommends that the consumption of trans fats be less than 1% of the total daily kilocalories.

The most common trans fats are those obtained by the process of hydrogenation of oils, this process began to be used in the twentieth century so that the oils had greater stability and were less susceptible to be oxidized and to obtain solid fats. The hydrogenation process is carried out under pressure and temperature with a metal catalyst bubbling hydrogen gas into the oil, the hydrogenation in some cases is carried out intensively and a 100% product is obtained, but a type of partial hydrogenation is also elaborated that contains saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in small quantities. Another way to produce trans fats is the process of refining the oils, subjecting them to temperatures of 200º-230º, this would be the case of the fried that are made at home. Although the biggest danger of this type of fats are cardiovascular diseases, it is not the only one. For example, mothers who breast-feed may contain this type of fat if the mother consumes it. Its intake has also been related to atherosclerosis, a disease caused by the deposit of lipids and calcium in the arterial wall. In addition some studies associate this type of fats with the probability of suffering cardiac arrest caused by the concentration of trans isomers of oleic acid in the adipose tissue.

Trans fatty acids are found in different foods:

Meats: pork (0.20%), beef (21.30%), chicken meat (0.24% -4.71%), pork sausages (0.20% -3.40) %), sausages (0.30% -6.40%), beef sausages (4.40%).

Dairy: cow’s milk (1.50% -5.20%), the cheeses and creams have a little more, butters can vary between having nothing until they contain 7.90%. Ice creams contain around 2.63% and 6.07% if they are made with milk fats and if they are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable fats they can contain between 14% and 31%.

Oils: extra virgin olive oil does not contain trans, but refined olive oils, which require high temperatures in their production process, contain between 0.10% and 0.50% trans fat. In relation to margarines, their content varies widely depending on the country, in New Zealand they range between 12.6% and 19.7%, in Canada between 0.9% and 46.4%, in Austria 0.3% and 3 , 7%, in Germany 1.9% and 6.15%, in Scotland around 6.7%, in the United States 2.4% and 23.4%, in Portugal, 0.2% and 8.9% , in Spain between 0.40% and 19.2%.

Other foods in which trans fats are found are in the raw materials used in the preparation of foods (snacks, ice cream, chocolate toppings), which usually contain about 6.55%.

Flours and their derivatives: in a study carried out in 20 countries of the European Union between 0.52% and 6% of trans fats were found in bread. Spain stands out for the country with the highest amount of trans fats in sliced ​​bread (17.35%) and pizzas (10.40%).

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