Make sure you only use real butter (or olive oil) on the Christmas dinner turkey this year. Skip the margarine.
Researchers from the University of North Caroline recently figured something out about the trans fats found in foods like margarine…they’re bad for you! They may even contribute to the development of breast cancer.
For the study, UNC researchers extracted fat samples from 698 European women between the ages of 50 and 74. They found women with the highest amount of trans fats in their cells had a 40 percent greater chance of developing breast cancer than other women. Plus, women who consumed the most trans fats and the fewest polyunsaturated fats (such as those found in fish) were three and a half times likelier to develop breast cancer than their healthy counterparts. The researchers even accounted for other risk factors, such as smoking, weight, and family history of cancer.
And still–they found a 40 percent increase in risk.
In fact, it’s the first study ever to connect the dots between trans fats and breast cancer in women. But it doesn’t surprise me in the least. Nutritionists like me have been preaching against trans fats for decades.
Foods high in trans fats include French fries, baked goods, processed snack foods, and margarine. Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen atoms to the fat molecules to make them denser. This raises the melting point of the fat, so that it remains solid at room temperature. Hence, the Crisco and margarine stay solid sitting on your countertop and only melt when thoroughly heated.
Trans fats became popular in the U.S. because they don’t spoil as quickly as regular fats. These products can sit longer on the shelf.
That said, a lot of products now tell you if they’re trans fat free. But the ones that still do contain them often try to hide the fact. They mislead you and tell you their product contains olive oil or DHA. So read all labels carefully. Skip anything that contains any amount of trans fats. Also, keep an eye out for "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils. These are also forms of trans fat.
Dr. Allan Spreen
Latest posts by Dr. Allan Spreen (see all)
- Mom’s “prescription” for brain health fights Alzheimer’s - August 22, 2016
- Is your doc making this deadly drug mistake? - July 29, 2016
- This berry tag team could slash heart attack risk 32%! - June 28, 2016