10 Reasons to Avoid Trans Fatty Foods

trans fats

There is only one kind of fat that every doctor agrees should be avoided at all costs: Trans fats. These artery-clogging fats increase your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels while also lowering your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. This unhealthy dynamic is a recipe for disaster, increasing risk of heart disease and numerous other health risks.

While a harmless amount of trans fats occur naturally in meats and dairy products, many food factories add hydrogenated oils to foods in order to increase shelf life. Foods typically rich in trans fatty acids include commercially fried or baked goods, such as doughnuts and french fries. We’ve analyzed the research and found the 10 reasons to avoid trans fatty food.

Increases risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke

In a 2014 study, the association explored the relationship between trans fats and stroke in several male participants. It concluded that the risk of stroke increased by 14 percent in the participants, confirming the danger of trans fatty diets. Another study conducted in 2015 revealed that a diet high in trans fats increases risk of cardiovascular disease while a diet high in polyunsaturated fats reduces this risk.

Linked to obesity

A diet rich in trans fats increases the distribution of body fat into the abdomen. The best way to avoid this is by limiting trans fatty food intake as much as possible. Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine conducted a study on male African green monkeys, in which the experimental group was fed a diet high in trans fats over a period of six years. The results revealed that the monkeys gained a significant amount of weight around their abdomen, even when consuming a moderate amount of calories.

Lowers chances of fertility

Trans fats may also decrease fertility in women. Research shows that women who regularly consume trans fatty foods have an increased risk of ovulation-associated fertility issues. These effects are caused by an interference of cell receptors involved in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. There’s no surprise that trans fats are the culprits of these health concerns, which have also been known to contribute to polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Associated with autoimmune diseases

The inflammatory effects of trans fatty acids create an environment in which autoimmune diseases may flourish. The inflammation hinders the growth of antioxidant enzymes, which paves the road to several autoimmune diseases like cancer, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Escalates risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Although chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease are genetically predispositioned, plenty of research has proven that a healthy diet, especially one high in Omega-3 fatty acids, can prevent the development of this disease. On the flip side, an unhealthy diet can escalate the development of this disease. A study conducted on 104 seniors discovered that the participants with a higher level of trans fatty acids in their blood had smaller brains. This experimental scoop is significant because brain shrinkage is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.

Boosts Aggression and irritability

A 2012 clinical trial administered by the University of California- San Diego was the first study to provide evidence linking trans fat consumption to aggressive behavior. The study showed that diets higher in trans fats were drastically associated with aggression, regardless of sex or age. This hallmark proves that what you’re putting into your body can serve as a marker for aggressiveness and irritability.

Associated with type 2 diabetes

The American Diabetes Association recommends avoiding trans fats at all costs, even more so than saturated fats. This is because trans fats amplifies blood cholesterol levels, which is directly related to the advancement of type 2 diabetes. The best way to avoid trans fats is to be a conscious eater. This can be done by making sure to read nutrition labels and ingredients lists. And be sure to watch out for ingredients like “hydrogenated oil.”

Causes acne

The inflammatory effects of trans fatty foods can also be the origin of stubborn acne. Chronic inflammation is the leading cause of acne, making trans fats an enemy to anyone with acne prone skin.

Linked to depression

A heart healthy diet is a great preventative measure in combating depression. Researchers claim that a diet high in trans fats can actually increase the risk of developing depression by almost 50 percent. This is due to the hazardous biological effects caused by trans fatty foods. On the other hand, heart healthy fats, like polyunsaturated fats have the inverse effects. These results affirm that the development of depression has nutritional factors.

May reduce socioeconomic benefits

The cardiovascular diseases associated with trans fat consumption could mean more frequent hospital visits, which in turn increases the already existing health inequalities. A reduction in trans fat consumption can lessen this socioeconomic inequality by reducing the prevalence of heart disease in minorities.


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