Dangers of trans-fats

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, trans fats have been associated with increased risk of numerous diseases, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. They promote inflammation and obesity, raise LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels and lower HDL, or good, cholesterol levels.

What are Monoglycerides and Diglycerides?

Monoglycerides and Diglycerides are food additives used to combine ingredients containing fats with those containing water. Food manufacturers normally use them to extend a product’s shelf life.

Why are they bad?

Mono and diglycerides may contain trans fats, either when manufactured in a lab, or if they come from an animal or vegetable source, when exposed to heat for processing into packaged and prepared foods.

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began requiring that all food manufacturers list a food’s trans fat content on the label. This law does not apply to emulsifiers like mono and diglycerides, even though mono and diglycerides may contain trans-fatty acids, they do not fall under these labelling requirements.

This means a food may be labelled as possessing “0% trans fat” yet still contain trans-fatty acids from mono and diglycerides. Many different chemicals may be used in the process of manufacturing mono- and diglycerides that are still present in the final product.

Among the most prevalent of these is hardened palm oil, or palm oil exposed to hydrogen and high temperatures, a process that forms trans fats. Other possible compounds added in the making of mono and diglycerides include nickel, tartaric acid, synthetic lactic acid, ricinus fatty acids and sodium hydroxide, each of which may pose health risks of its own.

Unfortunately, insufficient studies have been done on the potential health dangers of these compounds. Mono and diglycerides are typically found in packaged and prepared foods. What’s more, the packaged and prepared foods that commonly contain mono and diglycerides are some of the least healthy food products on the market.

They include baked goods, soft drinks, candy, gum, whipped cream, ice cream, margarine and shortening.


10 Jul, 2017

4 thoughts on “Dangers of trans-fats

  1. It is crazy that we are still subjected to misleading food-labelling, when we all know the dangers of too much bad fats in our diets.

    It seems to me that this is all about the manufacturers bottom line, rather than addressing diet and health problems in the west. I look at fat and sugar contents of foods in the supermarkets and have noticed even the healthy ranges of food, contains trans-fats.

    1. Thanks, yes you’re right. Manufacturers do and should have a responsibility to produce foods with less of these fats in their foods, but it’s up to us as the consumer to make sure we know what we’re eating.

      There are those who actively take control of what they eat, but for others I believe it’s a money thing. Foods containing trans-fats are cheaper than those without.

      It’s a cheaper method of production.

  2. I try to buy healthy foods when Frank and I shop. What I normally do is look through my recipes, write down the ingredients I need and go shopping about every 10 days.

    But on days when my husband works the night shift, I don’t prepare food from scratch or a recipe. It’s usually something quick for him which unfortunately is pizza most of the time.

    If we have left overs (which is often, because I tend to cook far more than we need) I heat those up. I have been more conscious of what I buy and cook since I had my heart attack.

    My blood vessels are very tiny and will get clogged easily, which is why my cholesterol went from 50 to over 200 within a year.

    1. Thanks Lisa and welcome back to the site. We take a lot from our families growing up. If our parents have a healthy lifestyle, it stands to reason we will too.

      Sadly it’s only when we meet with health issues like you have described Lisa that we begin to see how we need to re-adjust our lifestyle. I am sure you will want and need to make your own adjustments.

      I hope you’re okay now.

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