Trans-fats in the diet | good and bad cholesterol in the blood

Trans-fats in the diet increase total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and cause by heart and blood vessels diseases, as well as serious chronic diseases - diabetes type 1 and type 2, cancer, allergies and depression.

Trans-fats or trans-fatty acids belong to the group of polyunsaturated fats, which include beneficial omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega 6 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids; FOOD

Groceries which have them in abundance are: sea fish, especially mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, tuna, and they can be also found in large quantities and linseed, sunflower, walnut and olive oil. Omega fatty acids are essential fatty acids in foods that provide us with and provide body with necessary fat (which is unable to produce itself) and are important for normal growth and development as well as production of certain hormones.

Trans-fats and LDL cholesterol

Trans fats are a natural component of foods of animal origin such as meat and milk, and in this form are not harmful, but when in the process of industrial food production they undergo changes and turn into solid form, and become dangerous. The so-called industrial fats occur with the hydrogenation (addition of water) of vegetable oils into semi-solid fats to prolong life and improve the taste and texture of the products. All of this causes elevated LDL cholesterol levels.


With carbohydrates and proteins, fats are basic macronutrients which are important for a number of functions in the body: there are an integral part of cells and in them are dissolved very important vitamins A, D, K and E which provide normal operation of the hormones and are a good source of energy. All fats consist of a stable amount of glycerol and changeable amounts of substances which are called fatty acids. Depending on the types and amounts of fatty acids, we divide them into saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fatty acids are found in animal fats, as well as in some plant foods, and at the room temperature they will remain in the solid state (lard, tallow, butter and margarine). If their intake is balanced, they are useful for organism. On the other hand if you are exaggerating in their consumption it results in elevated LDL cholesterol which causes numerous health problems, among which certainly the most serious is arteriosclerosis.

It has been shown that trans fatty acids are dangerous to health because they increase the levels of total cholesterol in the blood, the "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels to be exact at the expense of "good" The result of this devastating combination is the emergence of diseases such as atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries and consequently, increased risk of diseases such as angina, heart attack or stroke. Excessive intake of trans-fats increases the risk of cancer, a ten-year study of Spanish scientists, covering 12,000 people, showed that the increase intake of trans-fats leads to a risk of heart attack and depression. It also exacerbates the problem, which is considered the main cause of shortening life expectancy - stimulates the production of more insulin than normal, while red blood cells also become sensitive to the hormone.

Hydrogenated vegetable fat

On the packaging of industrial food products trans-fats are called "hydrogenated vegetable fats." These trans-fatty acids are formed in the liquid vegetable oils that have undergone the hydrogenation process by the addition of hydrogen atoms, to maintain the solid form at room temperature. This hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are the ingredient of most margarines and fried foods (such as French fries, donuts and other foods processed in deep fried oil), and are added to improve the taste, texture and increase durability of various snacks foods, cookies, crackers, cakes and pastries (puff pastry and croissants).


Every fat in food is made from a mixture of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Increased intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids has a beneficial effect on the health, while the consumption of saturated and trans-fatty acids should be limited, otherwise it increases the risk of various chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, allergies and depression. Experts recommend that trans-fats are not consumed, and if these foods cannot be avoided, then the intake should be limited to no more than three grams a day.

  • Do not eat industrially processed foods with long shelf life - but the food you prepare yourself at home
  • Consume protein foods with low-fat, whole grains, dairy products from skimmed milk, legumes (peas, various types of beans, green beans,), vegetables and fruits
  • Use olive oil, sunflower or rapeseed oil.

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