Companies Swapping Trans Fats for a Different, but Also Dangerous, Fat
February 01, 2007
Research indicates that a new method of modifying fat in commercial products, interesterified fat, which is intended to replace trans fats, raises blood glucose and depresses insulin.
What's more, just like trans fat, it reduces levels of beneficial HDL-cholesterol.
Trans-fatty acids, used because of their long shelf life, are now being abandoned by many manufacturers because they raise LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol levels.
Interesterified fat is a modified form of fat that is hydrogenated and then rearranged on the molecular level. Interesterification creates fat rich in stearic acid, and it is quickly becoming the method of choice for foods that require a longer shelf life. The process hardens fat in much the same way as the process that creates trans-fatty acids.This research could mean that the structure of each individual fat molecule is important to health; the specific location of individual fatty acids on the glycerol molecule seems to affect the metabolism of both fat and glucose.