What foods have trans fats is a very important question now that they, rather than butter, have been strongly associated with coronary heart disease, and other related conditions like diabetes.
There are have been rumblings in the literature that saturated fats are not the villain of the piece for some years. Despite strictly limiting saturated animal fats, coupled with the use of statins, heart disease and stroke have continued to soar.
Three years ago Professor Tim Noakes stated that the theory, long accepted as fact, that animal fats and blood cholesterol are the cause of CHD is one of the biggest mistakes in the history of nutrition.
A meta analysis of the 80 odd the main research studies in the margarine versus butter controversy, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that there was "no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or cardiovascular disease".
Butter is back has become the buzzword.
In a new study published in the BMJ.3978 numerous studies involving over 300,000 people were pooled looking for associations between saturated and trans fats and a variety of diseases, and all cause of death.
Their conclusions are mind blowing.
And now the important part. Trans fats were associated with
Even more surprising was that trans fats
Trans polyunsaturated fats, to give them their full name, are found:
The latter, industrially produced trans fats, are associated with coronary heart disease, but the naturally occurring forms in animal products are not.
The research findings of this enormous study are in total contradiction with everything that medicine has been teaching us over the last thirty plus years. The long and the short of it is that the naturally occurring trans fats in meat and dairy products are not associated with a higher rate of heart disease, but those in industrially produced products are strongly inflammatory in the blood vessels.
In short, the authors state, in this synthesis of observational evidence, we found no clear association between higher intake of saturated fats and all cause mortality, CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes among apparently healthy adults.
Consumption of trans unsaturated fatty acids, however, was associated with a 34% increase in all cause mortality, a 28% increased risk of coronary heart disease mortality, and a 21% increase in the risk of CHD. Further, these data suggest that industrial trans fats confer a 30% increase in the risk of CHD events and an 18% increase in the risk of CHD mortality.
Putting it bluntly, the trans unsaturated fats that are produced industrially from plant oils for use in peanut butter, marmite, many mayonnaises, snack foods, margarine and packaged foods in general, are strongly associated with coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke.
Alas, one has to search diligently today to find foods produced by the modern manufacturer than is not laced with toxic trans fats. They are added to improve the shelf life of their products, and to make them solid at room temperature.
At a great cost to your health.
As one wag put it, if your great grandmother wouldn't recognise it as food, don't buy it.
Read the labels. Even if it contains less than 1% of trans fats avoid it; you surely don't want to get even a little of diabetes, right?
It's long been known that research can be twisted to support any issue; statisticians too can be bought. We certainly haven't heard the last word on the saturated fats and cholesterol story, but for the present we can enjoy butter, at least in moderation.
Particularly, if you regularly eat the foods in the photograph at the top of this page. It contains several kinds of lettuce, feta cheese, hummus, tomatoes, spring onions, avocado and baby spinach leaves, smothered in an olive oil and lime juice dressing; homemade, of course.