Which link between trans fats and memory function?
In recent years there was a lot of debate about trans fats and their harmful effect on health. Some governments have even banned trans fats in restaurants. But how much do you really know about trans fats and do you actually have them in your kitchen?
Most people don't really realize that there are two types of trans fats:
(1) The ones that are formed when oil goes through a process called hydrogenation. This type of fat, known as hydrogenated fat, can be used for frying or as an ingredient in processed foods. Artificial trans fats can be found in some processed foods such as biscuits and cakes, but in recent years many food manufacturers have removed trans fats from their products.
(2) Trans fats found naturally in some foods at low levels, such as those from animals, including meat and dairy products.
The bad trans fat are the artificial ones, obtained through hydrogenation because they have been shown to lead to high cholesterol levels in the blood, which can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Some research suggests these fats may also increase the chance of other illnesses, such as diabetes and depression.
In the new study, researchers explored another possible harm from regularly eating these fats. It showed that men under 45 years old who eat lots of trans fats may be hurting their memory.
The researchers found a close link between how much trans fat men usually ate and how well they did on the memory test. With every extra gram of trans fat that men usually ate each day, they scored slightly worse on the test. Those who ate the most trans fat got 11 fewer words correct, on average, than those who ate the least, which is about a 10% drop....