The fats are substances composed of the combination of fatty acids Y glycerin. They are present in animal and plant tissues and are very important in food as they enable the production of Energy, although its excessive consumption is harmful.
It is possible to differentiate between unsaturated fats (formed with fatty acids unsaturated) and Saturated fats (developed with saturated fatty acids). Among unsaturated fats, in turn, we can find monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats Y Trans fat.
Trans fats are usually generated from hydrogenation of oils, although they also appear naturally —but in small quantities— in milk and in lamb and pork, for example. It is a substance considered harmful to the Health.
Hydrogenation is a process that, by adding hydrogen, allows to transform an oil into a solid fat. In this way the durability of food and its texture and taste can also be improved. This is why many industrially processed food products, such as snacks, biscuits Y margarines, contain trans fats.
In addition to the improvements in its texture and its flavor, the objective of the oil hydrogenation process was that the resulting fats were more similar to those of animal origin. Trans fats that are obtained naturally are generated in the chamber that some species of polygastric ruminants have (such as cows, goats and sheep) for fermentation, which is known by the name of rumen.
According to Jose Manuel Garcia Almeida, one of the members of the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (also known by its acronym, Seedo), trans fats serve several functions, such as the metabolism of the cells, the intervention in the inflammatory pathways and the organic structuring of the membranes, among others.
According to various studies, trans fats increase the level of bad cholesterol and therefore increase the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke. They also produce an increase in the risk of diabetes and obesity, while minimizing the level of good cholesterol.
Nutritionists emphasize that organism you do not need trans fat. That is why the ideal is to eradicate its consumption or limit it so that these fats represent less than 1% of the daily calories ingested. One of the reasons for their bad reputation is that the human body cannot synthesize them, although their metabolization and absorption are similar to those of unsaturated fatty acids.
At least three organizations of great international importance are strongly opposed to the consumption of trans fats: the Danish Nutrition Council, the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization suggest that we reduce calories of this type to less than one percent.
All that said, it’s hard to believe that trans fats have been so popular, and that they are still popular on the market to this day. But the reason is that at the time they became popular because they were presented as a product ideal to compensate for the damage caused by saturated fats. In a matter of a few decades, this conception was completely reversed.
At present, since it is no longer possible to sustain this false benefit of trans fats, its continuity in the market It is given thanks to its advantages in terms of flavor stabilization and the prolongation of the consumption period of food products. For precooked, the use of trans fats is very convenient. In an ideal world, consumers wanting to avoid them should read labels carefully; However, the lack of regulation that obliges manufacturers to indicate their presence on their products makes many of them hide it.