Fats are mostly just a chain of carbons, usually about 12-16 carbons long. Normally each carbon had a single bond to the carbon before and after it and to two hydrogens (four bonds total).
Saturated fats have this design on every single carbon. It’s called saturated, because it is saturated with the maximum possible hydrogens attached to it.
Unsaturated fats are missing some of the hydrogens and have a second bond between the carbons missing those hydrogens. Since double bonds don’t allow the bound atoms to rotate these fats can either line up with the rest of the chain or it creates a permanent Kink in the chain. The kinked ones are called cis and the straight are called trans. Trans only happen in large quantities when we manipulate them, and not much in nature. It’s specifically partially hydrogenated oils that result in trans fats in any notable quantity, as fully hydrogenated oils results in saturated fats only.
As far as how they effect human health, they generally behave in a similar way as saturated fats, except for the extent. This is because they are straight like saturated fats and enzymes that work with saturated fats also latch onto trans fats, but can’t get past the double bond resulting in them taking much longer to break down.
There are list all, the things trans fats do in the body, but in general terms they are negatively effect blood pressure, raise LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and seems to increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes.
It must also be noted that amount is an important factor as a tiny amount, such as what you encounter from natural foods, doesn’t have too much of an effect. It’s only the higher levels of trans fats of partially hydrogenated oils that seems to be too much for the body to take care of.
According to experts, trans fats should be avoided completely. The World Health Organization even advocated a ban on trans fats in food, as they would pose an enormous health hazard. The following products contain many trans fats:
- Baked goods such as croissants
- Chips, flips, popcorn
- Fast food
- Ready meals like French fries and pizza
The list of ingredients of finished products provides information: The descriptions ” vegetable fat, partially hardened” or “unsaturated fatty acids, contains hardened fats ” stand for trans fats. In order to avoid this, you should also take care when shopping to avoid declared vegetable fat as hardened, partially hardened or hydrogenated. When frying and deep frying, you should use clarified butter, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil or refined oils from corn, sunflowers, peanuts, soybeans and rapeseed.
Now the question, government should ban the use the ban the use of the Trans-Fats in food items.
This is not only the government, but I think it is us, who should the first corrective step in this matter. We must ourselves understand the bad of Transfats on our health try to improve the awareness of common man on the subject to avoid Transfats contain food.
Above is the Trans-Fats Free logo provides a boost to the ‘ Eat Right India’ movement of FSSAI.
The Eat Right India Movement is inspired by the vision of PM Narendra Modi for a ‘NEW INDIA’ by 2022 which is healthier with proper Nutrition and social security. Considering that the food plays an important role in insuring good health, FSSAI pledged to eliminate the Trans Fats from food supplements through its ‘Eat Right India’ movement.
So now the question of banning Transfats will be a difficult step intially, but our government is definitely working on the subject, by bringing awareness in general that this type of fats are silent killer and should not be used. Lots has to be done before banning Transfats.
Below are some ways to avoid eating foods that contain trans fats:
- Eat more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meats, fish, nuts, and lean poultry. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid inner aisles where you’re more likely to find processed foods that may contain trans fats.
- Cut back on consumption of processed foods. Eat these foods less often and in smaller portions.
- Not all processed foods contain trans fats. When you do eat processed foods, avoid processed foods known to contain trans fats such as chips, cookies, donuts, icing, cakes, biscuits, microwave popcorn, crackers, fried fast foods and frozen pizzas.
- Read food labels and avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oil listed as an ingredient.
- Avoid stick margarine and vegetable shortening. Swap this for olive oil, grape seed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil when baking or preparing meals at home.
- Whether dining in or out, avoid fried foods. Choose foods that are baked, steamed, broiled, or grilled.