Thursday, October 16, 2014

Brain-Heart Health and Cholesterol, 4

Reportedly, trans fatty acids (TFAs) make up 4 percent to 7 percent of the dietary fat intake in the United States and the Netherlands. What is the effect on the potential health of individuals who ingest trans fats? It isn’t pretty! TFAs are created when hydrogen atoms are forced into liquid oils, such as soybean or corn oils. This process is required to make oils solid at room temperature so they can be used in processed foods and so the shelf-life of processed foods can be increased. When you read the terms "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils you know some of the ingredients have been subjected to this process. TFAs are commonly found in margarine, packaged baked goods, cookies, crackers, and restaurant fried foods. Trans fatty acids have been found to raise the lousy LDL cholesterol and lower the healthy HDL cholesterol, which can contribute to any number of disorders in the brain and body, especially cardiovascular disease that impacts both the heart and the brain. Is there a relationship between TFAs and decreased dilation of blood vessels? More tomorrow.

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