Who has not preferred to spread the bread with margarine instead of butter during a diet? For years it has been spread that vegetable oil is much healthier than animal oil, especially for cholesterol.
This would be true if the industrial processes through which vegetable fats pass to increase their duration and give them solidity would not transform them. But they turn them into “trans fats” and their beneficial properties and their advantages to the contrary.
This does not happen with all vegetable fats or all products, but on the label many times it is not clearly noticed that it is a trans vegetable fat ( hydrogenated vegetable fat), even emphasize that it is made with vegetable fat as an advantage for one. ?? .
This type of “artificial” fat promotes the formation of in the arteries ( ) to a much greater degree than animal fats (saturated fats), which greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It is important to check the labels if certain products are consumed frequently. According to the criteria of the World Health Organization, the consumption of trans fats should represent less than 1% of the daily calories ingested .
Trans fats are often found in salty snacks and snacks, precooked products, cookies, margarines and industrial pastries.
A very simple way to explain why vegetable oils are transformed is that they are liquid at room temperature, but we need to make them solid so that, for example, they have a cube of margarine that they can spread.
A brief chemical explanation
More in detail, trans fatty acids are hydrogenated unsaturated fatty acids . They come in a greater percentage, in a non-natural way, from those oils that through industrial processes are and thus be able to be used industrially with greater ease. The vegetable fat before its treatment is completely harmless (cis fats), but it becomes a dangerous poison (trans fats) when subjected to these industrial treatments for its refinement, greater durability, solidity and its increase of flavor.
It is mentioned, in the ingredients of food, that they contain vegetable oils, thus aiming for a higher nutritional quality. But, by omitting that the process of hydrogenation to which vegetable oils are subjected transforms them into trans fatty acids, with their consequent harmful effects, they are causing enormous damage to the population that, naively has diverted the consumption, for example, of the butters made with raw cow’s milk, to margarines, made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, that is, artificial trans fats.
Legislation in many countries prohibits its use in pastry and industrial bakery, but this is not the case in all, and in countries of the first world is causing an epidemic of disorders and problems associated with obesity and cholesterol, with consequent cardiovascular risks. They increase the concentration of in the blood, while reducing the concentrations of . All without the end consumer knowing, confident in the security that gives the 100% vegetable label.
In addition, trans-type fatty acids can inhibit some transformations of other essential fatty acids, delaying the . And is that fats are an essential part of the body’s cell membranes, and the presence of trans fats instead of the appropriate (cis fats) can lead the body to build defective cell walls and neurons .
Several studies confirm that the risk of coronary heart disease is 66% higher among habitual margarine users than among those who do not consume it.
What can we do?
The only solution is to reduce the consumption of this type of artificial fats. This should not be excessively traumatic since most of these bad fats are found in sweets and foods like “I like something sweet” , which are not essential, such as margarine, cookies and industrial confectionery, ice cream, etc. ., manufactured with refined vegetable oil.
Last minute scientific studies
In a study published in the , it was shown that people who ingest more hydrogenated vegetable fats were twice as likely to suffer a myocardial infarction . It is estimated that some 30,000 people in the US could die each year due to trans fats.
Among the latest scientific data, it has been shown that this type of fats affect not only adults, but also children and even embryos and fetuses.
At the University of Maryland, Dr. Beverly Teter has been able to verify the reduction of breast milk in mice raised with industrial margarines, which relates to certain in mothers whose diet is present in high content, motivating the inability to breastfeed beyond two or three weeks after delivery .
In addition, a relationship with a lower weight of the baby at birth has been found , as indicated by the studies of Dr. Gerald Hornstra of the University of Limburg in Maastricht.
Attention to cooking in our home
Most of the sources of trans fats come from industrially produced ones, but in the house we can also “make them” when we cook vegetable fats beyond certain limits . For example, when we fry olive oil, if its temperature exceeds 180ºC and we reuse it more than three or four times. By “burning” it we modify its structure, oxidizing it and decomposing it so that we transform its fatty acids into trans.
TOP TEN. The “ten most harmful”
We will give a list of the “ten most dangerous”, so that we can make a selection of the food we buy and swallow, without forgetting that consuming more than 5 grams of this fat is considered very dangerous :
- Potato chips (150 g): .7 gr. of trans fat.
- Industrial bun (1 unit): 5-6 gr. of trans fat.
- Industrial hamburger (200 gr.): 3 gr. of trans fat.
- Quesito (1 unit): 2,2-5,2 gr. of trans fat.
- Industrial cupcake (1 unit): 1-2.1 gr. of trans fat.
- Industrial biscuits (2 units): 1.3 gr. of trans fat.
- Margarine (1 tablespoon): 0.9 gr. of trans fat
- Commercial muffin (1 unit): 0.85 gr. of trans fat
- A chocolate bar (80 grams): 0.75 grams of trans fat.
- Cereal bar (1 unit): 0.4 gr of trans fat.