What are Trans Fats? Are All Fats Equally Bad for Health?
Trans fats, the type of fat commonly found in processed foods like doughnuts, cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarine are nothing less than a poison when you consider their ill health effects.
Chemically, Trans fats are those that contain the hydrogen atoms on the opposite sides of the double bond. Chemistry is really hard, huh? Let’s simplify.
Trans fats are the solid fats that are derived from liquid vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation (or hardening). Semi-hard fats manufactured by a similar process called partial hydrogenation may also contain substantial amounts of Trans fats.
So, what actually happens during hydrogenation? In hydrogenation, the liquid vegetable oils are reduced by the addition of hydrogen atoms that turns the liquid fats into solid fats. In the meantime, certain amounts of liquid fats transform into the notorious Trans fats. Likewise, reheating the oils several times or can also lead to the formation of unhealthy fats. It is widely accepted that heating or frying more than once is enough to turn the healthy oil into a toxin.
It’s not only the processed foods that contain these harmful types of fat. Natural foods such as milk and meat products also contain small quantities of Trans fats. Even so, processed foods, but not natural foods, are bad for your health because of the high amount of the unhealthy fats present in the former food items.