Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
I do not believe that Trans Fat in and of itself is any greater killer than pure saturated fats.
Thanks for starting this thread GI Chef, and thanks for that link to the Harvard site SuzyQ!
Boy was I wrong!!!
I was complacent and happy to ride along believing outdated research which had originally shown that trans fat and saturated fat had essentially the same impact on cholesterol levels. And, I was living in a Alice in Wonderland world believing others things that I had always been taught like trans fats are only in hydrogenated fats, and that cholesterol only comes from animal fat sources.
Things I learned from doing a lot of research of newer studies this week:
Plants also produce and contain cholesterol - although significantly lower than animal sources. So low that it's hardly worth mentioning - and so low it doesn't have to be listed on nutritional labels.
Trans fat is not limited to hyrogenated oils - it is also naturally occuring in beef, lamb, goat, and pork fats; and in milk, butter, and cheeses. Although the research didn't mention game animals I would assume it would also include deer, antelope, moose, bear ... any milk producing mammal.
Trans fat is
the most insidious fat. Saturated fat raises both the LDL (bad) cholesterol and the good (HDL) cholesterol. Monounsaturated fat raises the good HDL and lowers the bad LDL. Polyunsaturated fats lower both the bad LDL and the good HDL. (The chart on the page SuzyQ provided is wrong about polyunsaturated fats - according to some of the research they quoted in that article - that's Harvard's fault not SuzyQ's). Polyunsaturated fats lower total cholesterol - but the ratio of LDL:HDL does not change, therefore they are both lowered. (ref: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 34, 1758-1763
Now, the following info came from another Harvard HSPH site
... or from one of the research studies referenced. I really wish I had bookmarked the specific site I'm going to reference below...
What makes trans fat the really bad guy? Unlike what was previously thought that it just raised total serium cholesterol (LDL and HDL) like saturated fats - it does somethig different when looking at the affect on the ratio of LDL:HDL. Instead of raising both - it raises the LDL twice as much as saturated fats and lowers the HDL 1/2 the increase of the LDL ... sort of 2:-1 ratio. While this might keep the total cholesterol level equal ... it shifts the balance of good and evil!
U.S. LABELING LAWS: Is it really 0g Trans Fat?
Foods labeled zero trans fat
may still contain up to 0.5 grams per serving
of trans fat and stil be labeled as 0 trans fat (just as long as it is below 0.5 ... like 0.499999). (ref: HSPH website
- I'm too lazy to go find the FDA website citation on labeling requirements which explains the odd "rounding" requirements which allow you to round down, but doesn't require you to round up).
So, maybe my gradmother wasn't trying to kill us when she used lard and butter instead of Crisco and margarine to make her pie crusts?