Why are trans fats bad for you is a common question with many answers. One of the problems with trans fats in the diet is they lead to obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation. Here is an example what research research scientists are discovering.
Here is an excellent summary article on the topic, “Why are trans fats bad for you?” It is taken from a journal article in the Journal of Nutrition, as follows (from abstract listed in PubMed):
1. J Nutr. 2002 Sep;132(9):2488-91.The influence of different fats and fatty acids on obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation.
Bray GA, Lovejoy JC, Smith SR, DeLany JP, Lefevre M, Hwang D, Ryan DH, York DA.
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.
Dietary fat and its relation to obesity has been a controversial issue for several years. In this review, several kinds of data relating to this issue are resented. There are epidemiological cross-country data and data within countries showing an effect. However, in the United States, the intake of fat appears to be declining, whereas the prevalence of obesity rises-the American Paradox. Clinical studies show that trans fatty acids can increase insulin resistance and that exercise can enhance the rate of adaptation to a high fat diet by increasing the rate of fat oxidation. The differences in response of inflammatory signals and of insulin resistance to different fatty acids indicate that not all fatty acids are the same. There are also experimental data showing that most, but not all, animals consuming a high fat diet will become obese. A number of mechanisms have been postulated for this difference, including differential sensitivities to neurotransmitters, to the intestinal peptide, enterostatin, and to individual fatty acids. One important conclusion from this review is that both total fat and individual fatty acids have to be considered when reaching conclusions about dietary fat and obesity.
From page 2489, “…differences in the effects of saturated and unsaturated fats raised the possibility that insulin sensitivity might be altered acutely in umans by feeding different fats. To test this idea, we recruited 22 subjects who consumed a 25% fat diet for 17 d (31). On d 10 and 16, they each received a high fat meal, with 50% of the energy from fat, that provided 40% of their daily energy needs. The challenge diets contained either 20% oleic (18:1cis) or 10% oleic and 10% elaidic (18:1trans) acids and were administered in random order. Blood samples were collected hourly for 8 h after each of the test meals. The rise in glucose was similar after both challenge diets. However, to maintain the same level of glucose, the subjects had significantly higher insulin levels when they received elaidic acid, resulting in a higher insulin-to-glucose ratio. This suggests that trans fatty acids may induce insulin resistance acutely.”
This clearly points to the influence of trans fats (e.g., elaidic acid in this case) on elevating insulin levels, thereby leading to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a step toward diabetes and subsequent weight gain and obesity.
This is yet another reason to avoid trans fats (aka, partially hydrogenated oils) completely. By the way, you must read the ingredients label to see whether a food product contains this kind of additive. The FDA is in cahoots with food manufacturers and allows big, bold lettering on the front of food packages to claim ‘NO TRANS FATS’ even though the product clearly states the presence of partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list. Hmph!
If you want to see the entire article that I have cited here, the Journal of Nutrition currently offers it at no cost at this link:
All the best for why are trans fats bad for you,
- You: Food makers to be asked to disclose trans fat content (search.japantimes.co.jp)
- Cooking with Tropical Oils – Your Healthiest Alternative (findmeacure.com)
- Diets Fail to Stop the Cardiovascular Disease Epidemic (nutrition.suite101.com)