The confused life of a trans fat

Whats not to hate about trans fats? Trans fat has been linked to heart disease, cancer, obesity, infertility and other health issues. The links are so strong that states have started to enact laws to control the distribution of trans fats, the newest instance being Governor Schwarzenegger recently signing into law California Bill 97 banning the storage, usage, and distribution of trans fats by food facilities. Good riddance you say?

A day or two ago, before I read the article about the new California bill, I received this article from Science News which explains some of the big differences between bad artificial trans fats, and good natural trans fats which have been recently upgraded by the FDA to a “generally regarded as safe” status. Good trans fats? What?!? It turns out that some natural trans fats have been shown to have many good pharmacological effects. In direct opposition to its artificial brethren, some natural trans fats have been linked to lowered risks of cancer, arthritis, diabetes and weight gain.

Not only are there good trans fats, but we’ve known about them since 1986?!? How come in all this fear mongering the distinction wasn’t more clearly pointed out? As soon as I saw the article on the new California bill I rushed to the state website to find the bill and ensure that the ban is only on artificial trans fats, and was pleased to see that it is. Someone was on the ball.

Its another example of the importance of details.

Also note the reminder at the bottom of the Science News article

“But keep in mind, as with any fats, [natural trans fats] are high in calories. So here’s one instance where more is definitely not better. The goal, Pariza has always emphasized, should be simply to substitute these good fats for not-so-good ones.”

One Response to The confused life of a trans fat

  1. Kevin says:

    California also just passed a bill to ban any new fast food chains from being opened in Southern California for a year. They say that poverty stricken areas are relying too much on fast food and it is leading to a health crisis in the lower class.

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