Trans Fat: Health Hazard
Trans fat is the popular name for a type of unsaturated fat. It can be in either monosaturated or polyunsaturated form.
Characteristics and Information on Trans Fat
A specific class of this type of fat is present in small quantities in meat and various other products of animal origin, often consumed by most people.
Chemically, trans fat molecules look similar to non-trans fats; however, both have different characteristics.
In trans fat molecules, hydrogen atoms are paired and double bond to carbon atoms, a common characteristic of unsaturated fats, however, the melting point of trans is much higher.
Trans Fat Consumption and Health
Unlike other types of fat, trans, besides not being necessary for our body, is extremely harmful to health. Excessive consumption is known to greatly increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and depression. Other health problems related to excessive consumption of this type of fat are: accumulation of visceral fat (the most harmful to health), damage to cell membranes and increased LDL (bad cholesterol).
Given the harm it brings to health, health control agencies around the world recommend reducing its consumption. This type of fat is mostly related to obesity.
Trans fats that are not of animal origin are considered far more harmful to health than those already naturally present in foods, such as those in foods such as meat.
Many countries have tightly controlled their consumption, such as the obligation to disclose their quantity or presence on the packaging label. Given this, food companies are already voluntarily removing trans fat from their products.
Curiosity: The foods that have the most trans fat are: industrialized stuffed biscuits, snack foods, microwave popcorn, salad dressings, mayonnaise, burgers, margarines, ice cream, chocolates, etc.
Tip: Before purchasing a manufactured product, look on the package label for the information table. Give preference to trans fat free foods. Many companies are already manufacturing products like the ones mentioned above without this type of fat.