Definition

Trans fats are a type of fat created artificially via partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils. Natural trans fats also occur, in trace amounts, in meat and dairy of ruminants (cows, goats).

Health considerations

Trans fats in the diet are associated with negative outcomes in multiple aspects of cardiovascular health, inflammation, obesity, impaired insulin sensitivity (associated with diabetes), and increased breast cancer and Alzheimer’s risks.
Research regarding the health effects of naturally occurring trans fats in dairy and meat is ongoing.

Keep in mind

Multiple countries encourage or enforce a ban of trans fats. The state of California has passed legislation, enforced since January 2011, which bans restaurants and food establishments from using oil, margarine and shortening containing trans fats.

May be found in

Ice cream, shelf-stable pastries, frostings, enriched breads, fried foods, cheese, milk

References

The New England Journal of Medicine
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism
The Journal of Nutrition
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Archives of Neurology

Alternative Spellings and Names

Trans-fats

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