By the 1960s, trans fats had replaced almost all animal fats (lard) in commercial foods such as baked goods (cookies crackers, biscuits, cakes, pies, doughnuts, frozen pizzas, pot pies, potato chips), and fried foods (chicken, French fries, fish and chips, fast-food hamburgers). However, health studies began to reveal how trans fats radically increased coronary heart disease. By the 1990s, it was estimated that trans fats caused upwards of 20,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. It was found that trans fats increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol. As the word spread, public health advocates began to pressure companies to rid their products of trans fats. The makers of Crisco, for instance, were forced to reformulate their product to vastly reduce the amount of trans fats it contained. European countries such as Denmark took the lead and banned trans fats entirely. Incidents of heart disease dropped like a rock. Then Canada and Switzerland banned them. In 2006, New York City banned the use of trans fats in restaurants, sending a shock wave throughout the nation’s food suppliers. Municipalities such as San Francisco and Baltimore followed suit. As the movement spread, the restaurant industry fought back, claiming that individuals should be “free” to make their own decisions about what to eat or what to feed their kids. The appeal to “freedom” always seems to carry weight in the U.S., even when it means to carry those unhealthy extra pounds.
- 1Trans fats increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol which can lead to coronary heart disease. By the 1990s trans fats caused 20,000 deaths in the U.S. annually.
- 2Pressured by health advocates European countries such as Denmark took the lead and banned trans fats entirely. Incidents of heart disease dropped like a rock.
- 3Trans fats also negatively affect mood and brain health. Elderly people with high levels of trans fats in their blood performed poorly on memory tests and had smaller brains.
You’ll want to know that there is increasing evidence that trans fats negatively affect not only cardiovascular health, but mood and brain health as well.
Read the full article at: http://www.wellwise.org/blogs/james-townsend/health-blog-trans-fats-clog-more-heart
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