What is Trans Fat? Containing Foods, Harms
Trans fat, which is widely used in packaged and frozen products, is obtained by solidifying hot vegetable oils at room temperature. During this process, oils are subjected to a series of chemical processes.
Experts often say that trans fat is harmful to human health. So what are the harms of trans fats? Which foods contain trans fat? We know that these questions occupy the minds of many people. Let’s look for answers to these questions together now!
What is Trans Fat?
- If you wish, let’s first answer the question “What does trans fat mean? ” After that , we will naturally find an answer to the frequently asked question “Which are trans fats? “
- Trans fat is a type of fat in the group of unsaturated fatty acids.
- Trans fat can be produced naturally in animals, but the amount of fat obtained in this way is very small and does not cause any harm to health.
- Trans fats used in the food industry are produced industrially, that is, artificially.
- Therefore, trans fat is not a natural type of fat and is harmful to human health. If possible, it should not be consumed at all or consumed in limited quantities.
- So is trans fat lard?
- The source of trans fat is vegetable and animal fats. In order to say that trans fat is lard, we need to know its source clearly.
What Foods Contain Trans Fat?
Before moving on to foods containing trans fats, it is useful to explain why trans fats are used. Trans fats are used in the food industry to make foods more palatable and to extend their shelf life. Many packaged foods contain trans fats.
You can tell if a product contains trans fats by looking at the label. Because the amount of trans fat in packaged foods must be stated on the label.
Foods containing trans fat can be summarized as follows:
- Fried potatoes
- fast food foods
- Bread, pastry etc. bakery products
- Ice cream
- coffee creamer
What Are the Harms of Trans Fat?
- Experts often underline the inclusion of healthy fats in the diet.
- Consumption of trans fats, which are in the category of unhealthy fats, may invite some diseases.
- The most important effect of trans fats is on the cardiovascular system. Excessive consumption of this oil increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
- Consuming foods with high trans fat content increases the bad cholesterol level by disrupting the balance of good and bad cholesterol. This greatly increases the risk of heart disease. In addition, trans fats cause damage to the inner layer of the vessels. As a result of the deteriorated vascular structure, enlargement of the veins may occur.
- Trans fats are also an important risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes develops when blood sugar is higher than normal and the body cannot use this sugar as it should. It is a chronic disease. If blood sugar continues to stay high, it causes damage to various organs such as the heart, kidneys, and heart. Following a diet free of trans fats is extremely important to protect vascular health.
- Trans fats increase inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation causes many serious diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart diseases. The resulting inflammation weakens the body’s immune system.
- As a result of scientific research, it has been observed that the consumption of trans fat increases the risk of developing cancer.
- There are studies proving that it increases the risk of breast cancer, especially in women.
- Trans fats disrupt the balance of omega 3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial for the body, and prevent their production.
- In addition to all these, trans fats cause liver diseases, Alzheimer’s and obesity.
How Is Trans Fat Formed?
- Trans fats are produced naturally in the body of some animals; but the amount is very small. This oil produced is synthesized by bacteria in the digestive system. Therefore, foods obtained from these animals contain small amounts of trans fat.
- Naturally produced trans fats are not harmful to health.
- Industrially obtained trans fat is produced by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil through the hydrogenation process.
- These artificially produced oils pose a great risk to health.
- Trans fats are used in many foods in the food industry.
- Many packaged products that fall into the snack class, especially crackers, cakes, cookies and chips, contain trans fat.
- In addition, frozen pizza, puff pastry, etc. Trans fat is also used in frozen products.
- Trans fats are also commonly preferred in businesses such as restaurants and cafes. Trans fat is used especially in fast food chains where frying is made intensively.
What are Trans Fat Free Products?
- Foods obtained from animals whose bodies produce trans fat contain trans fat, albeit in small amounts. However, since the trans fats in these products are produced naturally, there is no problem in consuming them.
- If we need to give an example; About 2-8% of the fat in dairy products consists of trans fats.
- Trans fat, which is harmful to health, is often found in foods that experts describe as unhealthy.
- Foods that are in the healthy class do not contain trans fat.
- For example, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, red and white meat, nuts and legumes are products that do not contain trans fat.
- It is also possible to find trans-fat-free packaged snacks on grocery store shelves. Foods produced with the slogan of healthy generally do not contain trans fat.