Why You Need to Avoid Trans Fatty Acids

Why You Need to Avoid Trans Fatty Acids
February 7, 2013

As we become more developed in our abilities to research foods and food products, we can become more and more aware of concerns that could be a hazard to health.

For example, in recent years, it has become obvious that trans fatty acids, often called TFAs, are very bad for human health.

Why do you need to avoid them and where are they found?

TFAs come from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. They appear in a number of different food products like butter and margarine spreads, cooking fats, and frying oils. Because they are often used for frying, they could appear in food products that have already been prepared and packaged.

Why are TFAs so dangerous?

They cause cholesterol levels to go up, but that is not the only problem. While the trans fatty acids raise the levels of bad cholesterol, they also hinder or lower the level of good cholesterol. The result is a dangerous combination that can directly lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. The World Health Organization has made it very clear that it is imperative we limit our intake of TFAs.

It can be hard to determine how much TFA may be in food since the food manufacturers are not required to declare them on the product label. However, there are certain things you can look for. You will want to look for the existence of saturated, monosaturated, or polysaturated fats. This would be an indication that the food includes trans fatty acids.

So far, TFAs have not been banned in any noticeable levels, but many countries, including Australia and New Zealand are releasing limits on how much of the TFAs should be consumed by an individual to keep them safe from high cholesterol levels. When it comes to such dietary concerns, it is vital for consumers to be aware of things that could pose a threat to their health.