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24 Jul 2010

trans fatty acids / vegetable fats
What makes trans fatty acids so bad for our health? They are most commonly found in fried foods and also hydrogenated vegetable fats (margarine), correct?

When reading the labels on food, what is the difference between vegetable oil and vegetable fats healthwise?
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Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Judy
Trans fats with a chemical composition that is foreign to the human body (i.e. fatty acids which have become altered by excessive heating and the process of hydrogenation which is used to make liquid fats found in oils, more solid) have been identified as highly atherogenic (i.e. they promote heart disease). Consequently it is better not to eat foods that have been fried in oil that is repeatedly reheated or to eat hard, brick margarine which is highly hydrogenated. If you use vegetables oils, try to use those with a high monounsaturated fat content (olive, canola and avocado oils), because monounsaturated fats protect the heart and these oils have what is called a high flash point, so that they don't start forming trans fats at normal cooking temperatures. Nowadays soft margarine that is sold in a tub, which is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (which both protect the heart), and contains no trans fats, is also a good choice.
Best regards
DietDoc
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