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Heart Health

07 June 2011

Beware of trans-fatty acids

Find out all you need to know about trans-fatty acids, why they are bad for you, and a list of foods containing trans-fatty acids.

When unsaturated vegetable fats are hydrogenated, the process produces yet another type of fatty acid as a side product – a trans-fatty acid. These contain double carbon-carbon bonds - and hence are unsaturated – but the configuration of the carbon chain is altered so as to make the fatty acid behave as though it were saturated.

Why are trans-fatty acids bad for you?
We know that saturated fats are harmful. They are often found in foods which also contain cholesterol and they raise the levels of LDL.

  • Margarines – the solid ones are the worst, the more liquid the best
  • Doughnuts, cakes, biscuits which are high fat (there are reduced fat biscuits on the market. Read the labels carefully)
  • Many processed foods, including “slap” chips, potato crisps, many corn crisps and many types of cheese crackers

 

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