The times when we divided fats into the good ones, like vegetable oil and bad ones, like animal fat are behind us. Mainly because we discovered the number one enemy – trans fats, or more accurately, trans-fatty acids. It turned out that something that is in its natural form is appropriate for your body but may change into a killer as a result of improper processing. Initially, we heard a lot about trans fats in the context of hard margarines. And yes, they can still be found in products such as spreads. At the same time for a few years there has been known and widely used technology to reduce risk. There are “better”, common sources of the worst fat in the world.The trans fats are present in all confectioner’s products (salty snacks, sweets), fast food, and even an instant soup or food fried at home using an oil.
In small quantities they are not dangerous. The low, safe trans-fat content include up to 1.5 g per 100 g of product. The permissible level is 10 percent of total fat in the product. How much fat is there in a candy bar or chips? It’s not easy to tell. And it’s hard to find the producer, who writes on the packaging this warning: “Be aware of trans fats.” and even indicate how much fat that product really contains. This applies almost exclusively to products from Canada, the U.S., and Denmark. In these countries, moreover, the producers need to adhere to strict rules as to the content of isomers. Usually, there is a convenient terminology replacement: a component is defined as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”. It still does not allow to assess the scale of the threat.
There is a method to count the hidden amount of trans fat, when someone has the time, desire, and a good information on the packaging. If the manufacturer specifies the number of grams of monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated and saturated (unfortunately, this rarely happens), you can calculate how much trans fat is in that product. Add up the specified substances and then subtract from the sum the amount of lipids in the product (this is usually provided), and the difference will show how much of these particularly unwanted fat we have to deal with.
Simpler ways? There are some, but very limited. To reduce the consumption of trans fats, it is recommended to give up fast food and start cooking, simmering baking or steaming food at home instead of frying it (especially in deep oil for a pretty long time).
Trans fats are jointly responsible for many health problems, especially for diseases of civilization. They have the ability to stick arteries that in result leads to the formation of very persistent congestion. They have a disastrous effect on the digestive system. Consuming them in large amounts increases the risk of developing colon cancer by almost 90%. They may cause the life-threatening obesity. They raise in blood the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower “good” HDL. Widely criticized animal fats has almost the same impact on our bodies, but trans fats in this case are two times worse.