90 Fitness Answers 07 – What Is “Trans Fat”?

90 fitness answers 07 - what is trans fat?Yesterday we talked about whether dietary fat is good for you or not, whether it’s been improperly vilified or glorified by public opinion, and the other ins and outs of the story.

Today, we’re going to talk about a specific type of fat that’s popular in the media, but most people don’t really have a handle on what it is: Trans Fat.

For the purpose of our discussion, a trans fat is basically a “manufactured” or industrially-altered fat. Basically, Hydrogen is added to some of the bonds and this “hydrogenation” helps the fats last longer before going rancid, be solid at room temperatures, but also melt easier under other conditions. Trans fats DO occur in nature, but only in small amounts. For example, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a fat that occurs naturally in dairy in small amounts, and can be healthy. By and large, though, trans fats are considered to be tremendously unhealthy and it’s recommended that they make up less that 1% of a person’s diet by the World Health Organization. Trans fats are associated with a large variety of health issues (heart/cardiovascular system, digestion, obesity, depression, fertility issues in women, diabetes).

Ok, so they’re not great for you. Where are they? Continue reading