Fat, a substance that people love and hate. We love its flavor wanton, love it can bring nutrition and energy to the body, but fat love often “good do bad things”, accidentally exceeded, resulting in obesity, hypertension, heart disease and so on a series of problems.

But in the category of fats, there is a “demon” fat – trans fatty acids, which sneak into our bodies and kill us.

Since then, trans fatty acids have been resisted by a series of countries. In 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a reduction in trans fatty acid consumption. Subsequently, Denmark, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and other countries have enacted regulations limiting trans fatty acids.

So what exactly are the “trans fatty acids” that are restricted in so many countries?

First, what are the trans fatty acids that are restricted by many countries?

In 2021, the World Health Organization published a report that got a lot of attention. It said that trans fatty acids kill half a million people a year.

Trans fatty acids, also known as trans acids or trans fats, refer to a class of unsaturated fats that contain a trans double bond. They come in both natural and artificial forms.

Trans fatty acids can only be obtained in three ways:

First, natural trans fatty acids are produced in the microbial hydrogenation process in the rumen microecosystem of ruminants, and are commonly found in beef, mutton, dairy products, etc.

Second, artificial trans fatty acids, can be cured by liquid oil (hydrogenated oil), such as: chocolate, salad dressing, baked goods, etc.

Third, artificial trans fatty acids can also make vegetable oil fatty acids under the action of light, heat and catalyst, high temperature alienation, such as vegetable butter.

Two, long-term intake of trans fatty acids, the harm is really not small

Trans fatty acids are recognized by the medical community as “bad fat”, which has some negative effects on the human body. In contrast to unsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids are harmful to the human body in three aspects.

First, one of the most widely held ideas about the dangers of trans fatty acids is that many people immediately think of cardiovascular disease. Clinical trials have found that trans fatty acids can inhibit good fat and promote bad fat. In addition to interfering with normal lipid metabolism, trans fatty acids also affect blood vessel integrity and lipid concentration to some extent, thus increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.

Secondly, trans fatty acids can also affect the absorption and metabolism of lipids by fetuses and infants. Whether fetuses get trans fatty acids from their mothers or infants are exposed to trans fatty acids by their own diets, they may have adverse effects on growth and development, such as the retina, brain and central nervous system.

Finally, studies have shown that trans fatty acids increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, and that replacing them with polyunsaturated fatty acids can reduce the risk of diabetes.

In addition, other studies have found that the effects of trans fatty acids on lipid metabolism may increase the risk of obesity, prostate disease and gallstones.

Trans fatty acids like to hide in these 3 places, teach you to skillfully avoid

While many people are aware of the dangers of trans fatty acids, avoiding this health disorder in their diet is not an easy task. Because trans fatty acids are found in so many foods, there are three “hiding places” that are easy to overlook.

5 foods that naturally contain trans fatty acids

Less natural trans fatty acids exist in nature, food contribution rate is only 28.83%, the medical profession has yet to clear its and the correlation of human obesity, cardiovascular disease, etc, so as long as a little attention, don’t avoid, excessive resist natural instead of trans fatty acids is likely to cause inadequate nutrition sources, increase the risk of malnutrition.

The five foods that naturally contain trans fatty acids are beef, lamb, milk, goat’s milk and breast milk.

Trans fats are widely found in desserts and fried foods

Daily life of the most common of all kinds of desserts and Fried foods contain trans fatty acids, after all the trans fatty acid food source contribution rate is as high as 71.17%, specific probably can be divided into: candy, cakes, biscuits, puffed food, snack food, beverages, condiments, salad dressing, solid soup), breakfast (Fried dough sticks) and so on, is countless.

  1. Watch out for “hidden” trans fats

Now that many people are aware of the dangers of trans fats and are paying extra attention when checking ingredient lists, businesses have come up with an alternative strategy: change the name. In fact, margarine, shortening and any vegetable oil with the word “hydrogenated” in it (hydrogenated soybean oil, hydrogenated palm oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, etc.) are all stand-ins for trans fatty acids.

In addition, the “0 trans fatty acid” written on the product package does not mean that it is really 0 added. According to China’s “General Rules for Nutrition Labeling of Pre-packaged Food”, when the trans fatty acid content is lower than 0.3%, the marked content is also 0. Therefore, it is not easy to control trans fatty acid intake. Many foods that seem to contain 0 can only mean that their trans fatty acid content is less than 0.3 grams per 100 grams of food, and cannot be directly linked to 0.

No matter how much you like these foods, don’t eat more than this per day

It is impossible to avoid trans fatty acids completely, and people can only try to limit their total intake within a safe range to get closer to protecting their health. So what is the daily upper limit for trans fat intake?

According to the World Health Organization, trans fatty acids account for about one percent of total energy intake. The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese residents recommend that adults eat no more than 2 grams of trans fat per day.

You can follow these two criteria and plan your diet properly, but the overall goal is to eat as little trans fat as possible while maintaining adequate nutrition.

What started out as a gastronomic pursuit turned out to be a health hazard, but now that trans fats are so ubiquitous and part of many people’s diets, it’s not easy to say no to them. To remind everyone: pursuing good food is certainly fun in life, but we should also face up to the harm of trans fatty acids, pay attention to improve their eating habits in life, learn to plan nutritional supplements, and be a happy “cook”.

One thought on “Trans fat. It kills half a million people a year!”
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