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Interesterified Fats and Cardiovascular Disease
By Ivan Nikolov
copyright © 2008 Ivan Nikolov
"Isn't that something", you say. As we are just
becoming aware of the true harming effects of hydrogenated and partially
hydrogenated fats, now there is a new type of fats - interesterified fat -
that's about to replace the trans fats, and it's not safer at all, compared to
Two very respected in the food science professors - K.C. Hayes, from Brandeis
University, and Dr. Kalyana Sundram, Nutrition Director at the Malaysian Palm
Oil Board in Kuala Lampur - conducted a study that demonstrated that
interesterified fats can decrease the levels of HDL (the good cholesterol).
From here the higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
But there is more.
Interesterified fats have also shown to increase fasting blood sugar levels 20%
above normal. Interesterified fats also suppress insulin levels. This could
mean that they could contribute to developing diabetes or worsen already
existing condition. And just so you know diabetes is another major cause of
But what is interesterified fat any way?
In oils (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) scientists have now found a
way to replace the polyunsaturated fats with two types of saturated fats -
stearic and palmitic (mainly stearic acid is used for interesterification).
And why would they do that? They'd do that in order to achieve the same or
similar properties that saturated and trans fats have (trans fats is another
name for partially hydrogenated fats). Their goal is to come up with fat that
is not liquid at room temperature and goes rancid a lot slower, compared to
These properties make the fat a lot better for baking, and also increase shelf
life of foods that use them.
So, back to what I was talking about - the two saturated fats, used to
interesterify oils - stearic and palmitic.
Now, stearic acid is one of the main types of saturated fatty acids. It's
popular with that it does not rise cholesterol levels. Some studies show that
it can even lower them.
Palmitic acid is not known to raise total cholesterol levels - a major cause of
heart disease, but nonetheless some studies show that it can still increase the
incidence of cardio vascular disease even without affecting cholesterol.
You may now ask "If the saturated fats, used for
interesterification aren't that dangerous, and the monounsaturated fats that
are left after interesterification aren't dangerous as well, what's then
causing the potential health harming properties?"
The scientists still don't have a straight answer to this
question. What they say is "...further investigation is warranted before
interesterification is disseminated as the process of choice for replacing
partial hydrogenation as a primary means for hardening vegetable oils for use
Want to know what I think? Here...
You are better off if you entirely avoid foods, containing
interesterified fats (or trans fats, for that matter). How? It's simple. Stick
to UNPROCESSED fats - mono-, polyunsaturated, and even saturated (like coconut
oil). You will always be safe this way.
ABOUT THE AUTOR
Ivan Nikolov, an accomplished natural bodybuilder shares a
wealth of information on Natural
Bodybuilding and Sports
Nutrition on his website www.IvanNikolov.com.
Start using his comprehensive Free Nutrition
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