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Trans fats raises LDL and lowers HDL

Trans fats or trans fatty acids are known to raise LDL and lower HDL levels. Trans fats also known as partially hydrogenated oils can be found in thousands of food items primarily because they add taste, are cheap and can be stored for a long time. Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils thus making it more like butter which is less likely to become rancid. These hydrogenated oils are used to deep fry foods in many restaurants since they can be re-used several times. However consuming trans fats not only raises bad cholesterol levels but also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA) upto 100,000 premature deaths can be prevented each year by stopping the use of trans fats. In fact the AMA which includes 240,000 doctors and medical students is now supporting legislation to ban the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants and bakeries nationwide.

Many major fast food restaurants have stopped using trans fats in cooking oils, food companies have also switched to better fats. However trans fats continue to be found in various processed foods like cereals and baked goods.

The F.D.A has put forward a proposal to ban almost all artificial trans fats from the food supply in the US. Food manufacturers can currently label products as containing zero grams of trans fats if there is less than half a gram per serving. Since there is no minimum safe level of consuming trans fats, eating multiple portions of such servings could quickly cause people to consume high levels of trans fats. The F.D.A. is proposing to remove this loophole in labelling products.
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