U.S. food authority to ban trans fat

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to ban the heart-clogging trans fats. As per FDA, although manufacturers already have eliminated many trans fats, the average American still eats around a gram of trans fat a day eliminating which could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year. Keeping this in mind, the FDA would determine a phase-out timetable in a few months.

What is Trans Fat?

Trans-isomer fatty acids, or trans fats, are a type of unsaturated fat, which is uncommon in nature but can be easily created artificially. These trans-isomer (E-isomer) fatty acids are sometimes mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated due to the presence of  a double carbon–carbon bond, but they are never saturated.

How they are formed?

Trans fats are formed during the processing of polyunsaturated fatty acids in food manufacturing. The fats are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils. In plants and animals, fatty acids generally have cis (as opposed to trans) unsaturations.

Trans fats are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavour. The fats are found in some baked goods such as pie crusts and biscuits and in ready-to-eat frostings.

Why trans fat is harmful to our health?

In humans, consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of the lipoprotein LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and lowering levels of the lipoprotein HDL (“good cholesterol”).

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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