October 2, 2023

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If you use vegetable oils in food, know their health risks

If you use vegetable oils in food, know their health risks

Fats and oils are often the subject of ongoing criticism and debate in the nutrition world. In general, animal fats have been phased out in recent years. This happened due to accusations that it is harmful to health and helps increase cholesterol levels in the body. In light of this, vegetable oils are gaining more and more space in kitchens around the world.

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First, understand that excess fat is actually harmful and this is more than proven. However, animal fats do not pose all that risk, as there is a limit to how healthy it can be to eat. No one doubts, for example, that butter is healthier than margarine.

However, vegetable oils were widespread. The problem is that more common ingredients, such as soybean oil or corn oil, for example, remain in a liquid state at room temperature. This means that some food products cannot make use of these elements because they need some hardening.

Hydrogenated vegetable fats

In order to find a solution to the question posed, the process of hydrogenation arises. In a very simple way, it would be like adding hydrogen to the fatty acids of oils and thus being able to modify the structure. This way, the oils are more saturated (solid) at room temperature, without increasing the cost too much.

In this way, hydrogenated fats and hydrogenated chocolate, for example, are produced. The problem is that this process ends with the formation of trans fatty acids, or trans fats. This type of fat was considered the main enemy of health. Its consumption leads to the emergence of serious cardiovascular diseases, as many studies over the past decades have shown.

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The average trans fat content is less than 2%.

With restrictions based on health warnings, the industry has had to eliminate trans fats from products. This means that according to 2015 government data, the trans fat content in foods was less than 2%.

Always read the nutritional information to avoid buying any products that contain trans fats. Also try to reduce your consumption of saturated fats.