All fats are not created equal. Trans fats are a type of fat molecule produced by a process called “partial hydrogenation” which rearranges the hydrogen atoms in liquid unsaturated fatty acids to produce an unnatural fat which is solid at room temperature.
This is the kind of fat that manufacturers use for frying and to make many processed foods. It is less expensive for manufacturers to use partially hydrogenated vegetables oils than to use natural saturated fats. Plus, trans fatty acids allow products to have a longer shelf life which is good for the companies, but not good for our health.
Trans fatty acids are incorporated into our cell membranes, but are missing the hydrogen pairs needed for chemical reactions to occur. This results in dysfunction and chaos on the cellular level. Some of the most alarming research, dating back to 1990 shows that trans fatty acids lowers HDL cholesterol (that’s the good stuff) and raises the bad LDL cholesterol and the total serum cholesterol. It’s also shown that consuming trans fatty acids raises the blood sugar levels and causes people to weight more than people who consumed the same amount of fat that is not hydrogenated.
Any food item containing “hydrogenated” oil contains trans fats. Unfortunately the Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers to label their products as zero trans fats if there is less than ½ of a gram of trans fat per serving. So it may still have trans fats, and be harmful to your health even though the nutrition label says zero.
So, read the ingredients list. Look for any ingredients that say “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” / these are trans fats. Find an alternative brand that doesn’t contain trans fats.
Choose your fats wisely and with GREAT CARE to ensure they have been minimally and safely processed, or better yet, not processed at all; and remember- healthy fats are not the enemy and healthy fats do not make you fat! Consume a wide variety of fats from whole oils to whole foods containing healthy fats.