TRANS FATTY ACIDS: The hidden killers in our food

Our first story was prompted by one of our readers, who told us we don’t know what we’re talking about (that’s what we love about our readers – their clarity).

He was responding to an article in a recent E-news bulletin about medicine’s inability to pinpoint the cause of heart disease. It’s simple, he said. The culprit is the hydrogenated oils, or trans fatty acids, found in most processed foods.

Trans fatty acids have frequently been cited in the pages of What Doctors Don’t Tell You newsletter, and there’s overwhelming evidence to suggest that our correspondent is on the right lines, although it may be simplistic to suggest that they are the only cause of heart disease.

They are the only truly bad fats. Only trans fatty acids, rather than the saturates that occur naturally in animal meat, nuts and dairy products, have been consistently linked to atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, cancer and type II diabetes (see The Lancet, 1994; 343: 168-71).

The link between trans fatty acids and higher cholesterol levels was first reported in 1990, but it took a while for the food manufacturers to respond. They are used extensively in margarine as a hardener, and Dutch margarine manufacturers were the first to respond by reducing trans fatty content to just 1 per cent in 1996.

They are certainly likely to be the major cause of type II diabetes, a disease that has increased by 1000 per cent in the past 50 years in line with the rise of the processed foods industry. This also ties in with the findings of Dr Michel Montignac, who ‘cured’ people of their diabetes by removing processed foods from their diets, although he blamed the high glycaemic content.

And that’s why you should lay off the chocolate eggs this Easter.

* To understand more about the right diet and lifestyle, you should be reading our Secrets of Longevity special report. To order your copy, click on this link:

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

Explore Wellness in 2021