Trans Fats Essay

What are trans fats? The trans fatty acids are also known as trans fats which are a similar form of unsaturated fats. Trans fats are found mostly in fast food products meat and dairy products. It is something that the body can be hurt by if consuming large amounts on a daily basis but, if you consume very small portions once in a while your body cannot be harmed by the trans fats. The government has also stated that trans fats should be kept to a minimum within a person’s diet. There is no guide to how much should be consumed but it should be kept to a small amount. A few years ago the Food and Administration (FDA) began making the fast food restaurants include a label on all products or making it available for the customer to view via Internet or the restaurants started to keep information pamphlets including all the products sold within the restaurant they had to include the percentage of the daily value per serving. With the FDA approving this issue, it also helps customers aware of all the artificial ingredients in the products. When a consumer is more knowledgeable consume, they see that the unsaturated fats and saturated do not add up to the total amount of fat that is listed in the information label. It is now known that there are some types of excess fat which are the trans fats but the fast food companies are not required to list either if they do not want to. If someone has no knowledge that they are consuming this type of fat it is considered to be a secret fat.

For the most part, many consumers have not even heard of trans fats and do not even know what it is. It is an essential part of the diet that is not well known and can also very critical for those who are trying to lose or control their weight. The FDA requires labels on all food products and hey also limit the amount that manufacturers can label an item as low cholesterol but without labeling an item that has trans fats in it the product may not actually be “low cholesterol or cholesterol free. There are certain kids of oils that do not contain any trans fats such as canola oil. It is pressed straight from canola seeds and does not have any trans fats it in it also can fry foods just as good as any of the other oils that are out on the market canola oil and olive oils are some of the purest and healthy oils to bake and fry foods but, they are kind of pricey and by the fast food company’s being so cheap and not caring about the consumers health.

The process of trans fats began in the United States when vegetable oils were created. When Crisco dropped on the market as a replacement for lard an expanding growth of the fast food industry the snacking industry and baking goods began to depend on the ability to turn oils into solid fats. The FDA states that all saturated fats and unsaturated be kept at room temperature to keep the fats from increasing and causing more trans fats to increase.

The process of trans fats being made is called hydrogenation. Hydrogenated oil is made by forcing hydrogen gas into oil at high pressure. Animal and vegetable fats can be and are hydrogenated. The more solid the oil is, the more hydrogenated it is. Two prime examples of hydrogenated oils are Crisco and margarine. It was realized that these products might have a serious health effect

The purpose of hydrogenation is to increase the shelf life of the product and the flavor stability. It keeps the foods looking fresh and edible. This saves the producers lots of money by not having to make food so much because food the food is staying fresh longer and staying on the shelves of the stores a lot longer. Mainly this is why the fast food restaurants use this process because they can keep their food in the restaurants as long as they are looking fresh and to the customer satisfaction.

Hydrogenation makes oils more stable and solid at room temperature. This improves the baking characteristics of the liquid oil as well as the taste and texture of the product. Hydrogenated oil provided a good alternative when it came to taste, texture, and stability, and producers started using these oils.

The diet that consumers consume each day is filled with trans fats as mentioned earlier. Crisco and other cooking oils are considered trans fats. Other foods that are major contributors are baked goods such as cookies and other pastries, deep-fried foods such as fried chicken and french fries. Imitation cheeses potato chips and crackers also contain high amounts of trans fats. Most of these foods have trans fats because they are fried or contain vegetable oils.

It should be mentioned that trans fat is not bad in moderation, it is excessive intake which will more than likely be the cause of problems. It has been suggested that vegetable oils are best consumed when in their natural forms like olive oil and sesame oils. The processed oil industry has argued that trans fats only replace solid, saturated fats, but that is not necessarily true. It has been shown that margarine and shortenings can be made without trans fatty acids. There appear to be many ways to avoid trans fatty acids, the healthiest would way have to require changes in eating, but in order to do that the consumers must have the help of the producers.

Adults are not the only people that can be affected by trans fats. Research has shown that kids as young as eight, nine and ten already have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These can be your children that do not even know the daily amount of trans fats that they are consuming. Instead of stopping at a fast food restaurant when you are out trying healthy snacks or if you can not avoid it try SubWay or a salad.

The easiest way to try and stop trans fats is to start in the home. Tell family and friends about trans fats because some people are not even aware of it. Eating less fast food, fried food, and foods that have trans fats that can be located on some of the labels. It is really hard to completely cut trans fats out from your diet because manufacturers put them in many food items consumers consume on a daily basis. Another way to lower the intakes of trans fats is to try low fat and fat-free foods.

Though not much research has been done regarding the effects of trans fats researches believe that trans fats are linked to heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes. All of these claims have have led to the request for more research to be completed. Research has not been able to tell the difference if it is saturated fats causing these health problems or trans fats.

Overall, the problem is that the labeling of trans fats should be put on all food products. At least the consumer will be able to make a choice. If people keep consuming trans fats this can be very dangerous in the long run of one’s health. Researches do not even know what the trans fats can cause it can be the leading death and links to a lot of diseases. Knowing the secrets of what trans fats contain will not stop some of the consumers from buying certain products.