Trans fat is formed when the oil liquid becomes a solid fat. There are two types of trans fat found in food: trans natural fat and trans artificial fat. Natural trans fat is produced in the intestines of some animals and food produced from these animals. For example, milk and meat products.
Artificial trans fat is produced from an industrial process that adds hydrogen to the liquid vegetable oil to make it denser. Most artificial trans fats can be found in fried foods. Frying foods contain trans fat because vegetable oil used for frying undergoes a hydrogenation process that produces trans fat in these foods.
This artificial trans fat from hydrogenation can also be found in many foods that are similar to saturated fats, including:
- Processed frozen food ready to use
- Snacks (such as potato chips, and other chips)
- Fast food (fried chicken, french fries, burgers)
- Coffee cream
- HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil)
Trans fat can increase LDL cholesterol levels. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can cause fat to accumulate in the arteries and block blood flow to the heart and brain. This condition increases the risk of heart disease. Most LDL cholesterol in the body also increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.
What makes trans fat and saturated fat slightly different is its effect on HDL good cholesterol. Saturated fat does not affect the level of good cholesterol in the blood. Meanwhile, trans fats increase levels of bad cholesterol and also reduce levels of good cholesterol. This effect of decreasing good cholesterol levels makes trans fat 2 times more dangerous than saturated fatty acids.
In the body, HDL cholesterol is responsible for transporting bad cholesterol back into the liver. In the heart, this cholesterol will be destroyed or released by the body through the dirt. HDL cholesterol is actually needed by the body to prevent heart disease.