A colleague of mine has a good friend who is a cardiologist at a prominent local hospital. He once asked the cardiologist what he thought about trans-fats. The doctor responded by saying “Trans-what? I don’t know what that is.” The more they started talking about nutrition, the cardiologist admitted that he had very little training about nutrition and the effects of processed foods on the body. He stated that his training was mostly in trauma care and repairing the heart that was already damaged. Since that time, trans-fats have made so many headlines that cities like Boston and New York have banned them in restaurants. See bantransfats.com.
To be brief trans fats are the result of processing oils to make them more “shelf friendly”. Some studies have shown that trans-fats actually cause the arteries to harden and clog. Read the following excerpt from a 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine:
“Trans fats, unsaturated fatty acids with at least one double bond in the trans configuration (Figure 1), are formed during the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, a process that converts vegetable oils into semisolid fats for use in margarines, commercial cooking, and manufacturing processes. From the perspective of the food industry, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are attractive because of their long shelf life, their stability during deep-frying, and their semisolidity, which can be customized to enhance the palatability of baked goods and sweets. The average consumption of industrially produced trans fatty acids in the United States is 2 to 3 percent of total calories consumed.1”
And then concluded:
“…the consumption of trans fatty acids from partially hydrogenated oils provides no apparent nutritional benefit and has considerable potential for harm.”
This was the idea behind creating margarine. Unfortunately, it seems that these fats are very incompatible with the human body and cause a weakening of vital cells and tissues. Processed partially-hydrogenated oils turned out to increase heart disease instead of cure it.
Back to the old adage “you are what you eat.” Eat an Apple!