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Trans fats

Study: Alternatives to trans-fats may not be so healthy

Thursday, January 25, 2007 by: Beau Hodai
Tags: trans fats, hydrogenated oils, trans fat ban

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(NewsTarget) Trans-fats, which form when food is prepared using hydrogenated oils, have recently been banned in restaurants in New York and California. Boston, and Chicago, are considering adopting the ban, but according to a recent report, the alternatives to trans-fat-forming oils are not much better.

The report -- written by members of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, and published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism -- studied the effects of three diets on blood glucose and insulin levels.

Diet 1 was based on plam olein (POL). Diet 2 was based on partially hydrogenated soybean oil (PHSO), which is rich in trans-fatty acids. Diet 3 was based on an interesterfied fat (IE), and enriched with stearic acid.

Meals prepared with IE were found to raise blood glucose levels 40 percent more than meals prepared with POL or PHSO. In addition, the report found that meals prepared with IE caused a 22 percent drop in blood insulin levels. Insulin levels were reported to drop by 10 percent following meals prepared with PHSO.

“This is the first human study to examine simultaneously the metabolic effects of the two most common replacement fats for a natural saturated fat widely incorporated in foods,” said Kalyana Sundram, one of the authors of the report, “As such, it is somewhat alarming that both modified fats failed to pass the sniff test for metabolic performance relative to palm olein itself.”

“The food industry may be switching consumers from one kind of dietary poison to another,” said Mike Adams, author of "Poison In the Food: Hydrogenated Oils." “There is no such thing as a truly healthy processed food. Healthy fats, in particular, must be consumed in their natural forms, without chemical alteration or processing. Anything else is going to present health problem for consumers,” said Adams.

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