Industrialized Trans Fats came about because food manufactures didn’t want their food to spoil. They realized that when they made vegetable oils they would spoil quickly from oxidation. The manufactures developed a process to inject hydrogen into these oils to change them from the foods they were into something that would not spoil. An essential principle of health is if it does not spoil, it is not a food. Trans fats are being linked to major illnesses, including be a cause heart disease and autoimmune disease. The F.D.A. has stated that there is no safe level of trans fats in the American diet. A great book on this is Trans Fats: the Hidden Killer in our Food by Judith Shaw.
Industrialized trans fats are the worst type of fat and are having a significant impact on our health. Major researchers are linking autoimmune disease (Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Graves disease to name a few) to trans fatty acids. They believe that the trans fats are weakening the lining of our cells (basic structural unit of our body). Inside each cell is a nucleus that contains DNA (the genetic code of our body). When the trans fats weaken the cell lining the DNA from our nucleus leaks out into our bloodstream. When this happens our immune system sees a protein in our blood it must get rid of (just like a virus, or bacteria). If our immune system is continually trying to fight our own DNA, is it surprising that at some point the immune system starts attacking other parts of our body (made with the same DNA)? Auto-immune means your immune system fighting your own body. There may be more factors involved but trans fats have us in the health industry very concerned.
Weston A Price is a wealth of information on healthy eating and I have included information from them below as I thought it would be useful:
If you want to learn more about them visit their website
Dangers of Trans Fats (from Weston A Price brochure)
CANCER: Consumption of trans fats is associated with increased rates of cancer in many studies; trans fats interfere with enzymes the body uses to protect itself against cancer.
DIABETES: Trans fatty acids interfere with the insulin receptors in the cell membranes, thus triggering Type II diabetes.
HEART DISEASE: Trans fats raise the levels of atherogenic lipoprotein-a (Lp(a)) in humans.
IMMUNE FUNCTION: Trans fats interfere with both B and T cell functions, thus reducing immune response.
FERTILITY AND REPRODUCTION: Trans fats interfere with enzymes needed to produce sex hormones; they decrease the levels of testosterone in male animals and increase the level of abnormal sperm.
LACTATION: In animals and humans, consumption of trans fats lowers the overall fat content in mother’s milk, thus compromising the nourishment to the infant. In addition, trans fats can cross the mammary gland into mother’s milk and interfere with neurological and visual development of the infant.
DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH: Trans fats can cross the placenta, creating many problems for the developing fetus including low birth weight; they also interfere with the formation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids needed for growth and development, especially development of the brain.
OBESITY: Women who consume trans fatty acids weigh more than women who do not consume trans fats, even though caloric intake is the same.
To give a more thorough understanding of Trans Fats I thought it would be good to reprint this article from Weston A Price website
Trans Fats in the Food Supply - Weston A Price Foundation
Written by Sally Fallon Morell Tuesday, January 31 2012
Industrial trans fatty acids are unnatural fat molecules formed by a process called partial hydrogenation. (A small amount of a beneficial isomer of trans fat is found in meat fats and butter.) In the partial hydrogenation process, heated liquid oils are flooded with hydrogen gas in the presence of a nickel catalyst. This process causes a rearrangement of the hydrogen atoms in the fat molecule, moving one or more hydrogen atoms across to the other side of the molecule (trans means across), causing the polyunsaturated fat molecule, which is normally bent or wavy, to straighten out into a straight molecule. These straight molecules pack together easily, so they behave chemically like saturated fats. They are solid at room temperature and stable; the food processing industry prefers to use cheap partially hydrogenated fats rather than more expensive saturated animal fats or tropical oils for baked goods and fried foods.
In recent years, scientists have consistently pointed to the health dangers of dietary trans fats. In 2005, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) stated "that dietary trans fatty acids are more deleterious with respect to coronary heart disease than saturated fatty acids." In addition, trans fatty acids have been increasingly implicated as contributing to type-two diabetes, cancer, heart disease, auto-immune disease, tendon and bone degeneration, and problems with fertility and growth. Because of these facts and concerns, the NAS concluded there is no safe level of trans fat consumption. As a result of these recommendations, the FDA required labeling of trans fat content of food beginning January 1, 2008.
Faced with the new labeling requirement, the food industry has worked hard to minimize the levels of trans fats in processed foods. Many foods are touted as "trans fat free," but in fact do contain trans fats. This is because food manufacturers are allowed to claim "zero trans fats" if the food contains .5 grams of trans fat or less per serving.
Often serving sizes are very small, so that consumers can end up eating quite a lot of trans fat if they eat several servings.
The Weston A. Price Foundation contracted with the Burnsides Research Laboratory (see page 35) at the University of Illinois to test trans fat levels in common grocery items. We found that trans fat levels generally conformed to amounts of trans fat on the labels (see Table 1), with all products labeled as "zero trans fats" containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Some of these serving sizes are very small, however: a serving size for chips is twenty-eight grams or just under two tablespoons. Someone eating a whole bag of potato or corn chips will be taking in quite a bit of trans fats. The serving size for Ritz crackers is one cracker.
Yet, overall, it can be seen that the food industry has greatly reduced the levels of trans fats in the food supply, In fact, Oreo cookies and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers tested at zero; no trans fats found.
In liquid vegetable oils, the trans fat content is likely formed during deodorization, which involves a light hydrogenation process called "brush" hydrogenation.
REPLACEMENT FOR TRANS
We also tested these same products for levels of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. What we found were fairly high levels of saturated fat in these foods—saturated fat largely taking the place of trans fats, an ironic move since trans fats were first introduced into the market to take the place of saturated fat.
These saturated fats are coming from one of two sources: either naturally occurring saturated fat from palm oil, or manufactured saturated fats from fully hydrogenated vegetable oil (usually soybean oil). Full hydrogenation involves the same process as partial hydrogenation but the process goes on longer and more hydrogen is added.
The saturated fatty acids are then interesterified with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, creating triglycerides in which the arrangement of fatty acids results in the maximum benefit (stabilizing qualities) of the saturated fat. Interesterification moves these fatty acids around with the result that the interesterified fat has different melting and baking qualities. Fully hydrogenated oil is very hard, so only a small amount is needed—about 10 percent—to blend and interesterify with the liquid oil to produce a spreadable fat. (See www.westonaprice.org/knowyour- fats/interesterification.)
These interesterified oil blends may not contain trans fats but they have their own dangers, the main one stemming from the very high heat applied during the interesterification process. This ensures that the remaining unsaturated fatty acids will contain high levels of cancer-causing free radicals. Note, for example, that the trans-free Goldfish cracker contains high levels of omega-6 and a small portion of omega-3 fatty acids. These are bound to be rancid, full of free radicals after initial processing followed by interesterification. Country Crock "heart healthy" spread is very low in trans fats but exceptionally high in fragile omega-6 fatty acids.
Lesson to be learned: Buyer beware. Just because a product is labeled "trans free" does not mean it is healthy!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2011.
About the Author: Sally Fallon Morell is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (with Mary G. Enig, PhD), a well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods with a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. She joined forces with Enig again to write Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and has authored numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. The President of the Weston A. Price Foundation Sally is also a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist.
About Our Show Advisor: Dr. Dan Kuehne has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Rutgers Business School and a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University. He also has earned the distinction of Applied Clinical Nutritionist, after hundreds of hours of postgraduate education. Dr. Dan achieves remarkable results with his patients because of his dedication to serve his patients. Dr. Dan learned early on the importance of customizing the care for each patient. Dr. Dan uses the 7 Pillars of Health and the biofeedback system called, System Strength Analysis to achieve results with his Customized Clinical Nutrition program. Using whole food supplements, herbs and empowerment education, Dr. Dan facilitates you reaching your health goals, naturally. Dr. Dan Kuehne also is a gentle and specific chiropractor. He uses instrument adjusting, and light force chiropractic techniques to restore the body’s vital life force from your brain to your body (every cell, tissue, muscle and organ) without any cracks, twists, or pops. Dr. Dan motto is “Empowering People to Reach their God Given Potential.” To learn more about Dr. Dan Kuehne and the techniques he uses visit his website at www.DrDanWellness.com.