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Trans Fats, Trans Fatty Acids

There are four kinds of fats: monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, and trans fat.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered the "good" fats.

Partial hydrogenation is an industrial process used to make an oil more solid; provide longer shelf-life in baked products; provide longer fry-life for cooking oils, and provide a certain texture. Partially hydrogenated oil, however, is laden with lethal trans fats. Hydrogenated oil was first commercialized as Crisco in 1909.

Trans fats have the double bonds between their carbon atoms in the trans rather than the cis configuration, which results in their having a more straight shape.

Trans fats occur naturally in the milk and body fat of ruminants (hooved animals that digest food in two steps, such as cows and sheep) at a level of 2-5% of total fat.

Both saturated and trans fats increase the levels of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol), trans fats also lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol), which increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).




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