What is Trans Fat?

by Kelly Fitzsimmons

What is Trans Fat

If you keep eating foods chalked full of trans fats your body might be taking a permanent vacation sooner than you expected.

It is a good thing people are more educated nowadays and don’t need to be an expert dietitians or professional nutritionists to be able to realize the horrible effects of consuming trans fat when it comes to our health.

But just in case you were one of the ones refusing to listen, let me define just how bad the effects really are?

What is Trans Fat and Why You Need to Listen

Trans fat is also called hydrogenated fat or partially hydrogenated fat.

It is called as such because it is produced by going through a process which increases the amount of hydrogen bonds by applying pressure.

Manufacturers do this because it makes the fat more stable and it elongates the shelf life.

Even the foods which are cooked using it do not spoil easily.

Less chance of spoilage equates into more opportunities to save money for those who use it, especially the commercial food establishments.

Is the money being saved when using trans fat worth it?

When you consider the negative health effects of trans fat, there is no doubt that the answer is a clear no.

For those impatient consumers, great news!

Why are Trans Fats Bad

It does not take a long time before one could experience the harmful effects of trans fat.

Early effects can result in the significant rise in levels of bad cholesterol, also known as low density lipoprotein (LDL).

While this increases, the good cholesterol or high density lipoprotein (HDL) decreases.

This improper balance of good and bad cholesterol in the body is the culprit in triggering various cardiovascular problems.

Short term effects of trans fat also include having trouble with blood circulation in the arteries.

Hydrogenated fat causes the amount of triglycerides to sky-rocket.

With increased triglycerides, which is a type of fat in the blood, results in the hardening of the arteries impeding the hearts ability to pump blood throughout the body.

Hydrogenated fat also leaves residue inside the arteries.

Over time, this residue will accumulate and start to build clusters.

Once the residue forms as plaque inside the arteries, the resulting blockages impede blood flow.

Long-term Troubles

In the long run, the escalated levels of cholesterol, combined with the hardening and/or blockage of arteries, leads to serious heart problems, including myocardial infarction.

Since there are still some people who remain not too concern about the high amounts of trans fat in their diet, stroke and heart attacks are still very common.

Since trans fat slows down the flow of blood within the body, all other systems in the body are affected too.

The effect can be easily noticed with how the brain functions.

A reduction in blood flow means a reduced supply of oxygen resulting in lower levels of concentration and poor memory.

Type II diabetes can also be triggered by hydrogenated fat.

This harmful fat makes the body insensitive to insulin.

When this happens, type II diabetes can start to become a serious problem.

In the average, fast-food loving society, like American, consumption is about 30 to 40 grams of trans fat per day.

This daily consumption is the building blocks to serious, irreversible illnesses, like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Photo: fotographic1980

Final Warnings

The American Heart Association recommends that the intake of trans fat should be reduced to zero.

This is simply because; it does not supply any nourishment nor provide any positive effects on our health.

Please share this article with your friends and family.

We all need to collectively raise the awareness and dangers of eating trans fat foods; after all you are what you eat.

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