Trans fats: what foods are contained inlist, the relationship of their consumption and risk of oncology, heart attack

Update: October 2018

Trans fats … A rather frightening phrase that many
associated with something artificially created and very harmful for
organism. There is truth to this, but to have a complete idea
about this dangerous “additive”, you should clearly understand what it is, in what
products contained and how to exclude them from your diet.

Vegetable fats – what is it?

Before moving on to trans fats, let’s figure it out.
Fats are classified into liquid and solid, vegetable and animal.
Fats of plant origin are called oils. On many
dairy, bakery and confectionery products can be seen
the inscription “vegetable fat.” It seems to be all good, vegetable –
means natural. But what about the reality?

A bit of history

The story of getting a cheap analogue of animal fat goes away
roots back in 1860, when Napoleon III announced
reward to anyone who can get a cream substitute
oils for feeding the military and lower classes of the population. Exactly then
and began “katavasiya” with the chemical processing of vegetable
oils, to get from them a product similar in characteristics to
cream oil.

Until the beginning of the twentieth century. the main food fats were lard (beef and
pork and milk fat. The transition to solid fats began after 1910
, which were obtained by hydrogenation of liquid vegetable
oils, and 40-50% of them turned into trans fats. First scientist
who was actively engaged in obtaining a “new” oil, was Paul
Sabatier, French chemist. It was he at the end of 1890. created
margarine and received the Nobel Prize for their development. Deutsch
scientist wilhelm norman patented the method of converting liquid
vegetable oils to solid fat by hydrogenation reaction and
invented special equipment for this. In 1909, these fats
started producing in the UK, but the Americans bought everything
rights and began mass production of hydrogenated solid fat
for baking “Crisco”, which quickly became super popular.

Huge role in promoting hydrogenated oils with trans fats
played a shortage of dairy fat, so the scope
margarine expanded. They began to be used instead of animals
fat like butter. It was a super profitable business that
began to fail in the 1990s. because of the research results
that have proven serious harm to trans fats.

How do you get trans fats?

The first is not a natural product! This is an artificially created
substance, which is obtained during the modification
(hydrogenation and transesterification) of vegetable oil (more often
all, cheap). The widest group is margarines, which
are an emulsion of modified oils in water. AT
the processing of vegetable oil changes the physical properties
and from the liquid state becomes solid, similar in consistency
with butter.

In fact, it happens like this. Fat molecule has a double
connection AT процессе производства масло загружают в автоклав и в
in the presence of a catalyst, hydrogen is passed through it.

This leads to the rupture of double bonds and attachment to the molecule
fat hydrogen. This is a modified vegetable molecule
fat Next, an emulsion is obtained from this fat by adding emulsifiers,
dyes and antioxidants.

ATроде бы все безобидно, никакой «химии» при производстве
margarine in the tank with the emulsion is not added. But it is not. AT
the reaction produces by-products called
trans fats or trans fatty acid isomers.

They are foreign to the body and disrupt the flow.
biochemical processes in the body, affecting it
cellular level: modified triglyceride molecules are squeezing out
beneficial fatty acids from cell membranes blocking work
enzymes, which leads to disruption of proper nutrition of cells and
quality release them from waste products.

ATсе это становится причиной нарушения обменных процессов в
cells, and this ultimately leads to various pathologies.
Those. in the composition of trans fat like and there is nothing dangerous, but by
imagine that they are mutated, wrong molecules!

There are natural trans fats (ETFC) and they become
part of the diet from the time people started eating
the meat and dairy products of ruminants (small and large
cattle, camels). Fats are formed by digesting herbs and
the remaining plants in the stomach of the animal are special bacteria. Their
the amount is in the range of 2-5% fat in dairy products and
3-9% in beef and mutton. Moderate intake of these fats
health does not harm.

ATред от транс-жиров

These “products” has a complex, negative impact.
on the body.

ATызывают сердечно-сосудистые заболевания

The first data about this appeared in the 70s. of the past
столетия, но лидеры пищевой промышленности USA упорно игнорировали
research results and actively produced cheap products with
high in trans fat. AT 1990-х гг. world publicity
committed to research carried out in the Netherlands, which proved
the negative effect of these additives on the regulation of bad and
good blood cholesterol.

Представители пищевой промышленности USA в попытке отвоевать
the safety of trans fats has been allocated colossal funds and through
Министерство сельского хозяйства USA провели свои собственные
studies that only confirmed the discovery of the Netherlands
scientists: the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases during consumption
trans-isomers of fatty acids exceed those of saturated fats, which
previously considered the most harmful.

AT дальнейшем было проведено большое количество опытов, которые
подтвердили риски развития атеросклероза, ИБС и прочих diseases
heart and blood vessels. Say more: replacement of healthy fats with trans fats
adversely affects the ratio of apolipoprotein B and
Apolipoprotein A1, and this is not just a risk factor, but the cause
developmental pathologies of the cardiovascular system.

The average life expectancy in Russia is 66.7 years, and
This figure lags far behind that of European countries.
The population is inexorably decreasing, and the death rate from
cardiovascular pathologies account for 55% It is trans fats
increase the risk of coronary artery disease, many times more than any other product.

AT исследованиях, проведенных в Национальном исследовательском
the center “Healthy nutrition” proved that even if you receive only 2
% of daily energy (about 4-4.5 grams) by consumption
trans fat риск сердечно-сосудистых diseases вырастает на 25
% AT мире не существует других составляющих пищи, которые дают
such a small amount of energy and at the same time bring so
colossal harm.

  • AT одной порции сухого завтрака содержится примерно 2 гр.
    trans fat
  • in a standard pack of chips 40-50 gr. – 5 gr.,
  • in a portion of fries, about 7 grams.
  • But many regularly use the same breakfast cereals and
    Consider them the best option for kids.

ATызывают атеросклероз, который относится к категории
сердечно-сосудистых diseases, но опишем механизм отдельно.
Trans fats increases the level of inflammatory markers, reduce
good cholesterol levels (high density) and increase
the level of bad (triglycerides), which settles in the vessels in the form
atherosclerotic plaques. What is fraught with tearing such a plaque, we think
they know everything.

Increase the risk of diabetes and obesity

AT одном из исследований, в котором участвовало более 80 000
women, it has been proven that the risk of developing diabetes mellitus
used trans fats was higher by 40% compared with the control
by group. AT исследованиях на животных доказано, что большое
the amount of trans isomers in the diet leads to the development
insulin resistance characteristic of abdominal obesity and
increase fructosamine, a marker of high blood sugar.

Increase the risk of inflammatory reactions in the body

which are considered the leading cause of chronic
diseases сосудов и сердца, метаболического синдрома, артрита и
others. AT ходе двух клинических исследований было обнаружено, что
trans isomers increase the level of inflammatory markers
interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. AT обсервационных
research has proven to be associated with increased consumption of harmful
fat and high levels of C-reactive protein in the blood.

Sharply increase the risk of developing oncology

It is proved that women who consume a lot of these fats, 40%
tumors of the female reproductive system are more common. Similar data
There is a cancer of the lung, colon and prostate.

Memory deteriorates

Study presented at the American Heart Scientific Session
Association, confirmed the negative effect of trans fat on the central nervous system.
AT эксперименте, проводимом исследователями из Калифорнийского
University of San Francisco, attended by 1,000 healthy men
middle-aged. Они употребляли различные quantities транс-жиров
and passed the simplest memory test – we looked at the cards with
words memorized their maximum number.

AT ходе эксперимента было доказано, что мужчины, потреблявшие
большее количество trans fat хуже всех справлялись с заданием. AT
figures it looked like this: each additional 1 gr. trans fat
eaten in a day, associated with 0.76 fewer
memorized words. ATроде бы и не такая уж пугающая цифра. But
a person can eat and 15 grams. unhealthy fats, and this is already on
11-12 меньше memorized words.

Worsen mood

This has also been proven through experimentation: a diet rich in
harmful fats makes people aggressive and exposes them
increased risk of developing depression.

Deteriorate sperm quality

Harvard scientists have proven this by experiment: they studied
the content of trans fats in the semen of men who ate
differently. The more products consumed with these most
fats, the greater the amount of them accumulated in

Accumulate in breast milk of lactating women

From this, the quality of milk is sharply reduced: children have excess
weight, there are failures in the immune system (often fall into the group
ill children). Also в ходе наблюдений отмечен рост quantities
infants suffering from constipation if mothers have
many products with possible trans isomer content;

Other diseases

Today, according to WHO, it is believed that the use of
trans fat leads to an increased risk of liver obesity,
infertility, Alzheimer’s disease and other health problems. Also
The WHO has recognized that the minimum acceptable safe limit
there is no use of trans fat, which means that they are better at all
eliminate from the diet.

What foods contain trans fats?

If you read the composition of any product, it is unlikely there can
meet this scary word. Trans fats are hidden behind the following.

  • hydrogenated fats,
  • hydrogenated fats / oils,
  • hardened vegetable fats / oils,
  • modified fats,
  • cooking oils.
  • Some manufacturers write simply – vegetable
    fats, without specifying.

So, we present a list of products that contain
trans fats:

  • all fast food, no exceptions. Trans fats are in nuggets,
    wings, french fries and other “goodies” fried in
    deep-fried, cutlets, fried in cooking oil, popcorn, snacks,
    Chips, fried nuts. The content of harmful fat in these products
    can reach 46%;
  • most convenience foods: microwave pizza or
    instant, chicken and fish sticks, fried and
    frozen patties, pancakes for frying;
  • bread and bakery products, pastries, confectionery
    (cookies, cakes and pies, muffins);
  • dry breakfasts, crackers;
  • spreads, margarines and other types of soft, semi-solid and hard
    vegetable fats – all this today applies to trans fats;
  • mayonnaise and mayonnaise sauces;
  • hydrogenated and transesterified refined
    oils (trans fats from 2 to 20%);
  • ice cream, chocolate pastes, slab chocolate,
    chocolate candy;
  • cottage cheese, cream, sour cream, kefir products;
  • processed cheese and some glazed cheese.

On the Internet you can find numerous tables indicating
quantities транс-жиров в продуктах определенных торговых названий,
however, the relevance of these data can be questioned. Time
does not stand still, and many manufacturers, especially foreign, already
changed technology and produce environmentally friendly

Does margarine take place without trans fats? Yes, if this product
receive technology that eliminates education
trans fatty acid isomers.

Legislative regulation of the use of trans fats in food
industry: the experience of other countries


In 2015, the FDA announced that it had adopted a program for the full
eliminating artificial trans fats from foods that
продаются на рынке USA. This step has become the path to global
prevention of a thousand deaths from heart attacks and heart attacks,
which are registered every year.

FDA studies state that PHOs, in part
hydrogenated oils, a major trans fat, which is generally not
recognized as dangerous, cannot be used in products after 18
June 2018, unless otherwise approved by the FDA. For reference: PHOs
are formed in the hydrogenation of fats, which makes them resistant to

Thus, product manufacturers received a delay of 3
years to completely remove PHOs from their products. For this
period manufacturers must either change the composition of the product or
get permission to use specific PHOs in food
industry. Large companies that value their reputation
have already taken appropriate measures and voluntarily replaced PHOs with
safe fats or oils. Certainly a small amount
trans fat can be formed during the processing of products such
like meat and milk. But deliberate making their product composition
will be banned.

It is worth saying that the FDA has begun to pay attention to this problem.
in 2006 year. It was then that the mandatory condition was approved.
indicate on the label in the list of ingredients trans fats in percent.
Уже это требование привело к уменьшению их quantities в продуктах.
However, they are still used in food,
especially in the glaze, cream, coffee, popcorn, bakery

In April 2017, researchers at the School of Medicine
Yale University published a fresh study in the Journal
American Medical Association (JAMA Cardiology). In work
New York Department data were used.
health care. There has been a decrease in cases of hospitalization with
stroke and myocardial infarction by 6.2% in residents of countries where
There are restrictions on trans fatty acids compared to
States where these restrictions have not yet been introduced. Of this
a good and demonstrative result was achieved in just 3
year, which means that in the future the figure will increase.


Finnish manufacturers have long ago switched to the healthy position.
power supply. More than 20 years ago, almost all meat sold in
country, was sold without fat. Get such a “lean” meat
in a rather simple and obvious way – they simply cut off the fat.
The result on the face: the number of cardiovascular diseases
decreased by 25% At the legislative level is regulated and the level
trans fatty acid isomers in foods.

  • Denmark. In 2003, a ban was imposed on the content of more than 2%
    trans fatty acids in foods produced in Denmark.
  • Austria. Restrictions similar to Danish were officially
    introduced in 2009
  • Hungary and Norway. Restrictions on trans fat content are not
    over 2% introduced since 2014.
  • Australia. С 2003 г.  в стране выпускается большая часть
    oils and margarine with a minimum level of trans fats.
  • Switzerland. In 2010, restrictions on the use of
    trans isomers.


  • Since 1995, it has been decided to reduce trans fatty acids in
    products in many countries of the European Union;
  • Currently, the content of trans fat in foods
    производимых в странах EU, регламентируется предельно-допустимым
    level of not more than 2%

Today, the development of political measures to eliminate
trans fat from foods is a major concern
European Nutrition and Food Action Plan
for 2015–2020

And what about Russia?

However, in the Russian Federation and the neighboring countries of the post-Soviet space
nutritional safety is still in its infancy, despite
on the mass of legislation governing food

  • 1998 – The Concept of Healthy Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Sciences was approved.
  • 2012 – The principles of the state policy in the field of
    healthy food that are valid until 2020
  • There are more than 7 thousand safety standards.
    food products, including vegetable margarines and oils,
    developed thousands of TU, ​​which are manufactured products
    power supply.
  • Margarine production in the Russian Federation is regulated by the document –
    GOST 52178-2003 “Margarines. General technical conditions. From July 1
    2013, the technical regulations of the Customs Union
    oil and fat products. Yes, it says the maximum permissible
    the value of trans isomers, but only for: soft spreads of 8% (for
    comparisons, in European countries – 2%), equivalents of cocoa butter – 2
    %, milk fat substitutes – 5%, solid margarine – no more than
    20 % But, besides these types, there are still soft food margarines, for
    lamination, for creams, for deep frying, etc., the norms of trans fats
    for which are not installed! And as practice shows, their
    content can reach 40%!
  • In the GOST “Chocolate. General Specifications ”states that
    information about trans fats should be placed on the label.
  • Other foods do not contain trans fat.

Есть одно большое и весомое НО: транс-жиры
profitable to use in production, because they reduce the cost
products and allow people to feed. After hydrogenation
vegetable fat improves the appearance and texture of this “product”,
the shelf life is greatly increased, it becomes possible
repeated heating.

In contrast to the few farming, organic and
eco-products are cheap and very pleasant for the wallet
average Russian “cheese, dairy, sour cream”
products, cheap sweets with substitutes for natural ingredients and
etc. Solving the problem will require more than a decade, because
a colossal restructuring of production is required, which requires

Only numbers! Trans fat margarine is 2-2.5 times cheaper
corn and sunflower oil, 3-3.5 times cheaper than pork
fat, 5-5.5 times cheaper than butter and 10 times cheaper
olive oil.

Yes, legislation, specifications and guests exist, but even if
the manufacturer indicates on the label that its product is manufactured in
according to regulations, there is no guarantee that this is the case.

However, restrictions on trans fats are planned to be introduced and in
RF, and in the countries of the Customs Union, in 2017-2018 But already there
problem from Kazakhstan – they do not have time to rebuild

How to avoid trans fat intake?

  • Exclude from the diet products containing trans fats (see
    list above).
  • Carefully study the composition of the products on the label, not
    forget that trans fats may be masked by others
  • Buy only high-fat, natural butter
    (82.5%) and do not replace it with cheap spreads and margarines.
  • Try to eat only homemade food.

Surely there will be skeptics who need to “feed something
family. ” We will answer that if the family budget does not allow buying,
for example, natural cottage cheese and sour cream, then the organism will
it is better to abandon them altogether than to buy curd and sour cream
products with trans fats that are not related to the present
cottage cheese and sour cream do not have, except perhaps cognate

Those useful elements that contain cheese and sour cream, you can
get from other natural plant and animal products.
Few people know, but the whey available to everyone is very rich.
minerals, including calcium. Of course, this is not complete
replacement of cottage cheese, but in any case a better option than a cheap one
a jar of pseudo-creams with trans fats.

Автор: врач-гигиенист, эпидемиолог

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