Hydrogenated vegetable oils are liquid edible oils that have been solidified in a process known as hydrogenation.

These spreadable oilds are used in many baked goods such as cakes and biscuits to enhance taste, retard spoilage and prolong shelf life. Edible oils from olives, sunflowers and soybeans are popular candidates for hydrogenation.

The hydrogenation process, however, has a huge unwanted side effect. It leads to the development of artificial trans fats, which are a form of unsaturated fat that can lead to a number of negative health effects.

Trans fat is considered by many doctors as the worst type of fat a person can eat. Why? Because it raises LDL or bad cholesterol while lowering HDL or good cholesterol.

Trans fats in hydrogenated vegetable oils have been linked to a significantly higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

Hydrogenated vegetable oils might also impair blood sugar control. An extensive study that took all of 16 years to complete involving 85,000 women found those that consumed the highest amount of trans fats had a significantly higher risk of type 2 diabetes

Trans fats have also been said to increase inflammation. Chronic inflammation can contribute to unwanted conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The health risks posed by trans fats have not gone unnoticed. A number of countries have banned or restricted the use of trans fats in commercial products. The European Union (EU) in 2021 will limit trans fats to no more than 2 percent of total fat in food products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will ban artificial trans fats from processed foods in the United States in 2020.

You should be aware that among the most common sources of hydrogenated vegetable oils are margarine, baked goods, crackers, potato chips, coffee creamers, fried foods, premade dough, vegetable shortening, microwave popcorn and packaged snacks.

Nutritionists recommend to minimize your trans fat intake and carefully check the ingredient lists of the foods you buy for hydrogenated vegetable oils. This oil is typically labeled “hydrogenated oils” or “partially hydrogenated oils.”

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