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Trans fats are synthetically produced fats used in a wide variety of processed foods, typically appearing as hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil on food ingredient panels. Unlike other types of dietary fat, there are no benefits associated with these artificial fats, which is why you should avoid trans fats.
Here are six problems with trans fat of which to be aware:
1. Doubles the risk of having a heart attack by increasing the levels of “bad” cholesterol—low-density lipoprotein (LDL)—and decreasing the levels of “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Trans fat also promotes the formation of blood clots, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke
2. Damages the metabolism of the heart, which can result in heart disease
3. Raises triglyceride levels, which increases the risk of developing blood clots
4. Increases levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance that causes inflammation of the blood vessels and has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other inflammatory diseases
5. Damages the immune system and compromises liver function. The liver is the master organ when it comes to filtering toxins from the body, so you don’t want to alter that operation
6. May increase the risk of developing cancer. Studies suggest that trans fats disrupt the integrity of the cell membranes and allow cancer-causing agents to enter cells and damage the nucleus. Although there is some limited evidence that a high consumption of trans fat may increase the risk of colon cancer, no link has been found between trans fats and prostate cancer. (Astorg 2005) A high-fat diet may also cause the body to secrete a greater amount of certain hormones, such as estrogen, that are associated with certain cancers, including prostate and breast cancers. However, no direct evidence has been found at this point in time.
Astorg P. Dietary fatty acids and colorectal and prostate cancers: epidemiological studies. Bulletin du Cancer 2005 Jul; 92(7): 670-84
Ginter E, Simko V. New data on harmful effects of trans-fatty acids. Bratisl Lek Listy 2016; 117(5): 251-53