What are Trans Fats

What are trans fats, and why they are harmful?
Answer: Trans fats are fats that undergo a process of hydrogenation, which basically adds hydrogen atoms to the fat to make it a solid it room temperature. It is very bad for you and slowly digested.

• When unsaturated “cis” fats are hydrogenated, they can be converted into a “trans” form. In partially hydrogenated foods hydrogen atoms shift around some double bonds changing from the natural “cis” form to a “trans” form, whose shape is more like a “Z.”

• The “trans” form has its hydrogen molecules on the opposite sides of the double bond. These changes take place due to “cis” fats being exposed to heat (above 140 C), light, or oxygen.

These fats are damaging to the cells and increase the formation of free radicals.

• “Trans” fats have been shown to raise serum cholesterol and LDL levels and cause calcification of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

“Trans” fats have also been implicated in cancer. Foods listing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils among its first three ingredients usually contain substantial amounts of trans-fatty acids.

Examples of “trans” fats: margarine, shortening, and partially hydrogenated oils.

Source: Eat for Strength

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