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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Trans fatty acid" the killer |"ට්‍රාන්ස් ෆැටි ඇසිඩ්" මරුවා ගැන දැනගන්න

As you know, fat and lipids are composed of two major types of fatty acids: saturated and unsaturated fatty acid. Trans fatty acids (TFA) is a part of the unsaturated fatty acid group.  TFA is a major health risk and has been known to cause heart attacks, increase LDL, decrease HDL cholesterol (see our article on PUFA) and has carcinogenic effects.

Generally, most food industries do not use saturated fatty acids (SAFA) in their products as it gets rancid faster. Instead, they use hydrogenated vegetable oil (unsaturated fatty acids). During this process of hydrogenation addition of hydrogen atoms to unsaturated fats occurs, which eliminates double bonds, thus making them into complete saturated fats. However, some fatty acids may still remain as partially saturated fatty acids. Partial hydrogenation converts cis-isomers into trans isomers; hence fatty acids (TFA). Products that have been deep fried and baked, such as potato chips and biscuits, are high in TFA. This is important because, the Sri Lankan population consumes high amounts of biscuits daily. 
Always check food labels to see the amount of TFA
Due to these reasons, most countries have legislation to label food products that contain TFA. In the present day, there is a higher demand for “trans-fat free” products in the market, as people are becoming more interested in healthy diets. 

Recently, Japanese researchers examined the TFA levels in the umbilical cords and placenta of newborn babies. It was found that Sri Lankan babies had higher levels of TFA levels than Japanese babies. This could be one of the reasons of high low birth weight (LBW) rates in Sri Lanka. LBW can predispose NCD’s (non communicable diseases) in later life. 

Majority of households tend to re-use deep-frying oil again and again, which is not recommended; as it can cause TFA in food. It is highly recommended to change the oil after each time. If your household does re-use oil, it is suggested to use coconut oilMany "popular" fast food outlets and restaurants re-use their deep frying oil by straining debris from their oil to make their products. This is an extremely poor practice, which makes the fast food you eat full of TFA.
Say NO to trans fat!
For the Sinhalese version of this article Click Here | මෙම ලිපියේ සිංහල පරිවර්තනය සඳහා මෙතැනට යන්න.

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