Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?

Date:
September 24, 2003
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Just what is the skinny on those trans fatty acids that are so bad for you? Donuts, stick margarines, French fries, cookies and other tasty snacks are loaded with them. And this summer the Food and Drug Administration decreed that as of Jan. 1, 2006, manufacturers must break the trans fats category out of the total fat listing on labels.

Just what is the skinny on those trans fatty acids that are so bad for you? Donuts, stick margarines, French fries, cookies and other tasty snacks are loaded with them. And this summer the Food and Drug Administration decreed that as of Jan. 1, 2006, manufacturers must break the trans fats category out of the total fat listing on labels.

Chemical &Engineering News, in its Sept. 22 issue, describes the chemistry of these culprits. C&EN is the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

In issuing its order, the FDA relied mainly on an Institute of Medicine report that concluded that consuming foods containing trans fatty acids raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease, according to C&EN. The IOM recommended people keep their consumption of trans fats as low as possible, and to help consumers do this the FDA issued the labeling requirement.

What are trans fatty acids?

Unsaturated fats, found in such foods as avocados and olive and corn oils are heart healthy, but in the air they can go rancid by absorbing oxygen and then decompose, C&EN explains. Manufacturers can stop this process by bubbling hydrogen (hydrogenation) through the fat at a high temperature in the presence of a catalyst like nickel and in the absence of oxygen.

The process raises a fat's melting point, turning liquid vegetable oil into products ranging from soft margarine to solid shortening, according to the newsmagazine. When the healthful unsaturated fats are partially hydrogenated, the double bonds are rearranged, converting some to the trans configuration and shifting the double bonds along the chain. Unfortunately, this newly created trans fatty acid is an artery-clogger.

Amid the criticism of cookies, chips and other products containing trans fat, a number of companies have either developed foods without partially hydrogenated oils or have pledged to explore ways of replacing the fat. PepsiCo's Frito Lay, for example, has already eliminated trans fats from some of its products.

To access the C&EN article on trans fats, go to: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/8138/8138sci4.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030924055334.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2003, September 24). Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030924055334.htm
American Chemical Society. "Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030924055334.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins