Glossary - print - Trans Fatty Acids

Trans Fatty Acids - Glossary Term

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Also known as trans fat, this is a type of fat that is created when oils are partially hydrogenated, which occurs by adding hydrogen to the oil so ir remains solid rather than liquid. The process of hydrogenation will change a liquid oil into a saturated fat making it a stiffer and more stable form, such as changing a vegetable oil into a stick of margarine, producing trans fatty acids as a result in the food product. Similarly, foods such as potato chips are more shelf-stable and are crispier with the addition of the trans fat. Any foods containing hydrogenated oil, even partially hydrogenated oil, will contain trans fatty acids. Food and medical researchers believe there is evidence that supports the theory that the consumption of trans fatty acids will decrease the beneficial effects of good HDL cholesterol and instead, produce more bad LDL cholesterol. Typical foods containing trans fatty acids are margarine, baked goods, fried foods, and processed foods such as crackers and snacks. Although it is assumed that the food label will always display the amount of trans fat in the product, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) allows serving sizes that contain less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving to show the product contains 0 grams of trans fat.