The effects of TRANS fats on health PART 1

The effects of TRANS fats on health PART 1

Is not true that everything was simpler in the old days? When someone had an increased cholesterol was advised to consume fewer eggs and replace butter with margarine. And was believed that will solve everything. Today we know that things are more complex. Again, the words of wise Solomon come true, who wrote that where it’s too much science is also much pain. If 20-30 years ago we consumed margarine with great pleasure not only for its good taste, but also because we believed that we’re doing a good to our health, today we need to find, unfortunately, that is not the case.

But first, what is margarine, from what and how it’s made? In 1869, the frenchman Hippolyte Mege-Mouries gets the invention patent for a alimentation fat, which he called margarine. Today the world produces at least 15 million tonnes of margarine per year.

The margarine is obtained by solidifyingvegetable and fish oils, which sometimes are added animal fats in different proportions – beef tallow, skim milk and a number of chemicals to improve the taste, appearance and with preservative purpose.

In the United States and in Brazil is used especially the soybean oil; in Argentina, Russia and, to a lesser extent, the United States is used the sunflower oil; in Europe and in Canada, rapeseed and sunflower oil; in West Africa and the Equatorial, peanuts oil; Russia and the United States is also used the cotton seeds oil. Are  used other vegetable fats, for example, coconut oil in the Philippines and Indonesia, palm oil in Malaysia, West Africa and Equatorial.

Are lso added, in different proportions, animal fats: fish oil, whale fat, cattle fat and even pork lard, where is very cheap. Some margarines contain exclusively only vegetable fat. Skim milk is added, water, vitamins A, D and E, salt, emulsifiers of vegetable origin or animal, preservatives and dyes.

Oil solidification is achieved by the hydrogenation, ie the double bonds are saturated with hydrogen. Thus unsaturated fatty acids converts to saturated fatty acids, as the animal fat is with a high degree of melt.

Beside the fact that unsaturated fatty acids become saturated, in the margarine manufacturing process a varying amount of unsaturated fatty acids are not hydrogenated, but converted from the CIS normal configuration to TRANS configuration.

TRANS fatty acids shall occurs when warming oils, when fry potatoes, meatballs or escalope. In addition, TRANS fatty acids are formed also in hazelnuts, peanuts and roasted seeds.

Recall that TRANS fatty acids results from bacterial biohydrogenation in the rumen of ruminants of polyunsaturated fatty acids, TRANS fatty acids representing between 2 and 9% of ruminants milk and fat.

Before saying a few words about the effects of TRANS fatty acids on health, remember that, chemically, fatty acids are made of long chains of carbon atoms.

Their physical and physiological properties depend on:

  • carbon chain length;
  • the number of double bonds;
  • position, ie the location of double bonds in the chain;
  • geometry of double bonds;
  • lipoproteins or lipids that are linked to.

Naturally, the double bonds of the fatty acids have CIS configuration, which is mandatory for the essential fatty acids in the alimentation. Molecules containing TRANS unsaturated fatty acids have the melting point higher in comparison with their CIS isomers, resulting in a

solid fats.

The main sources of TRANS fatty acids in the alimentation are bakery and pastry products, margarine used as such on bread, cakes and cooking, the foods prepared with fried oils, sauces, meat and sausages, butter, whipped cream and dairy products. In France and many other european countries, fat from the dairy products provide 90% of TRANS fatty acids consumed.

Biochemical systems of the body, responsible for cell membrane biosynthesis, treats TRABS fatty acids more as saturated fatty acids than unsaturated. This is because the TRANS links presence makes the molecule to have a shape similar to that of saturated fatty acid. The proportion of TRANS fatty acid in the body fats depends on their proportion of the food consumed.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition

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