This study measured the effect of trans fat, found in fried foods
and processed foods such as cookies, crackers and pastries, and
of saturated fat, found in meat, butter and some dairy products,
on blood vessel function and cholesterol levels.
According to the results, the trans-fat
diet reduced blood vessel function by 30% and lowered HDL ("good")-cholesterol
levels by about one fifth, compared with the saturated-fat
diet. Previous research has shown that trans fats, like saturated
fats, also raise LDL ("bad")-cholesterol levels.
This suggests that trans fatty acids increase the risk of heart
disease more than the intake of saturated fats.
The major sources of trans fats in our diet are the ready-made baked
goods and fried fast foods. These foods are not labeled, so the
consumer does not know how much trans fat he gets.
Trans fat accounts for 4% to 7%
of dietary fat intake in the US.
Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and
Vascular Biology July 2001