In recent years trans fats have come under a lot of scrutiny, as many fast food chains have eliminated trans fats from their foods, and local governments have made progress in banning or reducing their consumption. It’s well known that trans fats are bad for your health, increasing your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, lowering your ‘good’ cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of heart disease.
In a new study, trans fats may be even more harmful for the body than we originally thought, causing people to become more irritable and aggressive. Tran fats are actually dietary trans fatty acids, and are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, to make certain foods last longer. In this study in the journal PLoS ONE, scientists studied the diets of 945 men and women, and conducted behavioral assessments on them, including analyzing their history of aggression and their score on an “overt-aggression” scale. The study revealed that the greater the trans fat intake, the higher the probability that a person would be exhibit aggressive behavior. This finding held true no matter the individual’s sex, age or ethnicity.
The implications of this study may just add fuel to the fire already burning against trans fats. If trans fats truly cause aggression, then foods that include them in institutions such as schools or prisons should be avoided at all costs. Trans fats previously only affected the individual who consumes them, but a link to aggressive behavior means that the effects of trans fats may extend to others as well.
Links were made between trans fats and the brain in an earlier study, which found that people with high blood trans fats levels perform worse on cognitive tests and have less total brain volume. With trans fats harmful to the brain and the heart, people are being recommended to do whatever they can to look at the ingredients of the food they are eating. While many restaurants have eliminated trans fats from their menus, trans fats are still very much out there, and some restaurants and fast food chains still contain them in their products.
DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com