General

What are trans fats?

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30 Jun 2016 - General
 

I am particularly referring to the artificial trans fats wherein  hydrogen is added to the liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. These are  manufactured  in industrial establishments, and  companies prefer   them because they are easy to use, less expensive to produce, and have longer shelf life.  These fats are used in preparing foods,  such as cookies, doughnuts, frozen pizza, stick margarine, pie crusts, crackers, pastries,  and fried foods. What is  alarming  is that  when foods rich in trans fats are taken most of the time, it will lead to the reduction of the “good” cholesterol  (HDL-cholesterol) and  increase in the “bad” ones (LDL-cholesterol), leading to the development of cardiovascular problems. Thus, it is necessary to advise our patients to  look closely  at the “Nutrition Facts” of every packed product that they buy, and examine  the “list of ingredients”.  Look at the quantities of  trans fats which were used  in  the products. As much as possible, it should contain nothing! In addition,  if “partially hydrogenated oil” is listed as one of the ingredients, then the food product contains trans fats.     

There has been a notification of the banning of Trans fat by FDA in 3 years (http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm451237.htm). Local legislation in Asia region might differ depending on the government. I would see some challenges in the banning of Trans fat in certain parts of Asia due to the inability of manufacturers to cope with the change. There are also large parts of Asia which has oil palms which Trans-fat is at time made of. I don’t think there is a need to wrench...
 (Total 110 words)