Trans fatty acids, are a form of unsaturated fats having at least one double bond in their chemical structure. Trans fats (artificial) are now notorious as the worst fat in the food industry. Trans fats get generated when oils are only partially hydrogenated to generate semi-solid oils. This change may seem small, but it totally changes the fat's physical properties. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life, texture and flavour stability of foods. In the past, experts believed trans fats were healthier than saturated fats like butter. Yet recently researchers identified that this man-made fats are associated with many severe health problems. It has drastic effects on the body in comparison to even saturated fats and have arisen as the newest bad boy to the food industry. Several studies pointed out that trans fats consumption is a modifiable dietary risk factor for heart diseases, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes mellitus, endothelial dysfunction. It adversely affects lipid levels, causes systemic inflammation, increases body weight, visceral adiposity, insulin resistance and adversely affects multiple cell types including hepatocytes, adipocytes and macrophages. Though trans fats have been on their way out, many popular products still contain trans fats. Search for an alternative is the need of the hour and efforts should be taken by stakeholders to make the public aware of this worst fat.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN