Cholesterol and
Heart Disease

Salt, High Blood Pressure
and Hypertension

Sugar, High Blood Pressure
and Hypertension

Trans Fatty Acids and
Heart Disease

High Triglycerides =
High Cholesterol

Heart Disease,
Good Fats and Harmful Fats

Free Radicals and
Heart Disease

Food Cautions for
Heart Disease

Fiber Ė A Key to Lowering
Cholesterol

Eat more, eat less
Diet, Digestion and
Hypertension

Alkaline Diet to Prevent
Heart Disease and
Osteoporosis


Trans Fatty Acids and Heart Disease

meditation for health

Trans Fatty Acids are very popular fats that are misrepresented by the food industry. Trans fatty acids are the result of hydrogenation. The ingredients on margarine labels list hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated soy bean oil. That means trans fats. When polyunsaturated vegetable fats have a hydrogen atom added to them, the result is trans fats.397 Hydrogenation will make the vegetable oil firm at room temperature when the oil should be a liquid, and not firm like margarine is. Margarine is firm because it is commonly made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Nutrition is lost through this process, and it prevents the absorption of healthy fats such as omega fatty acids (which are needed by the body to build myelin sheath for nerves, and lower blood pressure) because it blocks the prostaglandin chain. Trans fatty acids also inhibit insulin binding; high blood sugar can lead to cardiovascular disease. Trans fats are in baked goods, cereals, mayonnaise, commercial peanut butter, and frostings, as well as in deep fried foods.

A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, involving 80,000 women, ages 39 to 59, showed that trans fats were worse than saturated fats. Saturated fats are found in meat and dairy. Replacing trans fats in the diet with unsaturated fat would greatly reduce heart disease. If we could replace only 2% of the energy from trans fat with unsaturated fat, this would reduce the risk of heart disease by 53%.398 Remember this the next time your physician tells you to eat margarine. The best fat in your diet should be organic extra virgin olive oil. Instead of spreading margarine on bread, put olive oil in a wide-mouthed jar and store it in the refrigerator. It will be solid and spreadable in a few days. Avoid canola oil, which can be genetically engineered and oxidizes at a low temperature. When you see hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredients of a product, donít buy it.

Trans fatty acids differ from healthy fats that occur naturally in many ways. Trans fats are misfits. Their molecules do not fit into biological structures. This incorrect fit causes problems with enzymes and membrane structures.399 Trans fats block the role of healthy fats and essential fatty acids from carrying out their critical duties.400 They have also been implicated in diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. Ever since the 1950ís, scientists have been questioning artificial fats in terms of health. In more recent times, artificial fats have been implicated in cardiovascular disease. A 1990 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that trans fatty acids raised LDL, lowered HDL, and raised total cholesterol. Many diseases have been linked to trans fatty acids including breast cancer, infertility, obesity, low birth weight, inferior quality breast milk, and immune dysfunction.401 The June 24, 2000 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine discussed some studies that demonstrate the adverse effect of trans fatty acids and the risk of coronary heart disease. The studies implied that trans fatty acids pose a greater risk of cardiovascular disease than saturated fat.

Some adverse effects of trans fatty acids on humans and animals are: raises LDL, lowers HDL, raises total cholesterol, raises lipoprotein (a) in humans, and increases blood insulin levels in response to glucose load. This increases the risk of diabetes. Eating TFA also exacerbates essential fatty acid deficiency.



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