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Trans Fats and Disease Implications

Does the heat in processing of oils make a difference? YES! Heat, hydrogenation, bleaching, and deodorizing destroys a natural healthy long chain cis configuration by altering it into an unhealthy trans configuration. Trans fats make incomplete bonds in the cell membranes, causing the cell membrane to leak and permitting toxic substances to enter. The resulting cellular abnormalities are implicated in both cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

Interestingly, the whole of Europe has mandates against trans fats. Many European foods state specifically on the labels that they are made with healthy cis fats.

Lobbyists and pressure from the oil-processing industry have congested any government regulation or labeling changes here in the United States. In fact the average American has no idea what a trans fat is and how to identify foods that contain dangerous trans fats. But read on because we're sure you want a better level of health than the average American.

All "processed" oils contain trans fats. For example liquid vegetable oils from the grocery store shelf contain up to 6% trans fat and margarine and shortening a whopping 58%.

Butter, on the other hand, is not exposed to heat during processing so the healthy cis configuration remains in tact.

The fact that butter is a better or safer fat than margarine is a complete reversal of an erroneous dietary recommendation that has been promulgated for years.

The basis for lobbying for no government labeling requirements and regulation is that the American diet contains only 3-4% of total calories as trans fats. But animal studies have found gross cell abnormalities with diets of only 4.4% trans fats. Current government health recommendations, which ignore the disease producing effects of trans fats, are directly promoting disease.

A 1990 human study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that young healthy males showed elevated cholesterol levels and elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) when placed on a high trans fat diet for ONLY THREE WEEKS! [Mensink, et al. New England Journal of Medicine Vol 323. (1990) Pgs. 439-445.]

If those gentlemen continue that diet for very long they won't stay very healthy.

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