Trans-fats are bad
- Introduction-Trans-fat are bad for you.
- Unsaturated fats
- Saturated fats
- What are trans-fats?
- Natural trans-fat
- Synthetic trans-fat
- Why are trans-fats bad for you?
- Bad cholesterol
- Good cholesterol
- Potential Health Risks
- Why are trans-fats used?
- Easy to make
- Shelf life
- What about labels?
- Reading labels
Trans-fats are bad
Fats can be healthy for you but there are other fats that can be extremely dangerous to a person’s health. Some of the healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which actually develop the body. However others may be harmful among this is the trans-fat (Julien 20). Among these are the saturated fats which are derived from the products of animals like milk, and the unsaturated fats also known as trans-fat. Trans- fat is a specific type of fat formed when hydrogen atoms are added causing the liquid fat to solidify. This paper will look at trans-fat as a whole and it will give reasons as to why trans-fat is harmful to one’s health.
We can categories trans-fat into two: natural trans-fat and synthetic trans-fat. Natural trans-fat is trans-fat that can be said to occur naturally. This is the kind of fat that originates from animal products like meat, milk, and others. It has been discovered that natural trans-fat which in this case is the one commonly found in beef and dairy products, can be actually beneficial. However research also showed that it also has a tendency to decrease LDL and HDL levels which is similar to industrial trans-fat (Hobbs 45). Synthetic trans-fat on the other hand, can be formed when oil gases are made more solid through a process called hydrogenation. This hydrogenated fat can be used as a food ingredient or it can be also used for frying. Hydrogenation can simply be defined as the process used to convert oil trans-fat to solid by simply adding oxygen to them. Mostly synthetic trans-fat can be found in processed food such as cakes and biscuits and they are the ones mostly considered dangerous when too much is ingested.
Fat is very crucial for a person’s health as it generates energy in the body. However in order to prevent health complications one should avoid ingesting to be consumed too much of it. Moderate portions are suggested to be consumed in order to balance the levels of fat in an individual’s body.
Why trans-fats are bad
Trans-fat has been discovered to bring negative effects on a human body. It can also causes arteries to clog, type 2 diabetes and other deadly health risks, and it also increases heart disease rate. These factors have been discussed in detail below. Companies were not entitled to list trans-fat labels so consumers never had a clue of how much fat they were ingesting. There has never been a safety limit on the amount of fat ingested. The FDA only suggested intake of fats should be as low as possible.
Scientists have researched methods by which nutritional trans-fats cause arteries to harden. A mice study proposes that extreme levels of trans-fats lead to atherosclerosis by dropping the receptiveness of the key protein, (TGF)-beta transforming growth factor that reins in growth and diversity in cells. The results of the study strengthen research that has related the largely man-made fat with a variety of health problems (Silverglade 30). Trans-fats are present in fried foods like fried chicken French fries, and cookies, doughnuts, crackers and pastries. In the US, French fries naturally contain around 40 percent acids and many popular crackers and cookies range from 30-50 percent. Doughnuts have around 35 – 40 percent trans-fatty acids.
Some of the other factors that confirm why trans-fat is bad have been highlighted below. Trans-fat interfere with your enzymatic ability to fight cancer. This is why most cases of cancer victims have been linked to fatty foods like fries. This is why also most obese people have a higher chance of developing cancer because of the amount of trans-fat ingested. Another potential health risk brought about by trans-fat is diabetes. These fats tend to interfere with the receptors of insulin mainly found in your cell membrane. Diabetes is a disease commonly associated with fatty foods and sugary foods which cause general weakness within the body of affected person. The affected require daily dose of insulin to be able to carry out their daily activities (Hobbs 64).
The most common and somewhat dangerous health risk is that trans-fat interfere with the immune system causing decreased immune functioning. A reduced immune system is more dangerous because it means that a person is more susceptible to diseases. The person might be infected and the healing process might end up taking a while thus prolonging the persons healing period. This will also increase am persons exposure to any disease because the white blood cells have been weakened by large amounts of this trans-fat.
Another risk associated with trans-fat is the reduced reproduction rate among affected persons. This is because they tend to interfere with the sex hormones, thus, the affected normally can become sterile in the process. Most of the affected normally have a low sex drive which interferes also with their love lives as they cannot enjoy each other’s company. This leads to low birth rates as people are not able to give birth.
Obesity is one of the obvious health risks that are caused by trans-fat. Obese individuals are normally overweight and this interferes with their health issues. Most of them are prone to strokes and heart attacks as the fact that they are obese interferes with the blood flow thus causing heart attacks. Also they develop sores as they cannot be able to exercise due to their overweight (Julien 53).
Trans-fat have been commonly known to increase blood levels of LDL lipoprotein while lowering levels of HDL high density lipoprotein. They are normally referred to as bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. The LDL is the one which is commonly described as bad cholesterol while the HDL is the one described as good cholesterol.
Reasons for trans-fat use
There are several reasons why trans-fat are used. One of these reasons is the fact that they can be cheaply obtained since they are found in products of domestic animals like beef and dairy. Another reason why they are used is the fact that they are easy to make. Since they are normally contained in sources like butter, cream and other dairy products which do not undergo major processes in their manufacture. These trans-fats have a prolonged shelf life as they do not go bad easily. People will tend to use them as this will save them the cost of purchasing other products after they have gone bad.
The negative health properties of trans-fats are internationally known that in previous years, many food makers have detached them from their goods, while several big cities like Chicago, New York, and California have instigated citywide bans.
The fats are now registered on labels, but there’s a relevant warning you should know. Americas (FDA) Food and Drug Administration allows food creators to do a zero rounding for any ingredient that accounts less than 0.5 g when serving.
So while foodstuffs may claim that they does not contain trans-fats, food makers have petitioned to allow the diet to contain up to 0.5 g per serving.
The factor considered here is the serving size. One may ask a question like the serving size of a box of cookies. There is no fast and hard law and if they adopt that a small portion of a cookie is a plateful size and not the “distinctive” quantity most individuals prefer, you could end up with up to 10 g or more of trans-fat, which is clearly going to bring health complications.
So to successfully avoid trans-fats, you require a study of the label with required just at 0g. Check the constituents and gaze for partly hydrogenated oil. If the merchandise lists this constituent, it contains trans-fats thus pay close attention to the serving size
In conclusion, trans-fat as it has been seen have more disadvantages than advantages. For this reason people are advised to avoid ingesting them as they might end up affecting their health.
Hobbs, Suzanne H. Get the Trans Fat Out: 601 Simple Ways to Cut the Trans Fat Out of Any Diet. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2006. Print.
Incredibly Disgusting Food: Mystery Meat: Hot Dogs, Sausages, and Lunch Meats. Rosen Pub. Group, 2011. Print.
Julien, Ronni L. The Trans Fat Free Kitchen: Simple Recipes, Shopping Guides, Restaurant Tips. Deerfield Beach, Fla: Health Communications, 2006. Print.
Silverglade, Bruce, and Ilene R. Heller. Food Labeling Chaos: The Case for Reform. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2010. Print.
Trans Fat. Ottawa: Health Canada, 2007. Print.