Taking artificial trans fat off the menu would reduce hospitalisations for heart attack and stroke, a study has said.
Artificial trans fat can be formed when oil goes through a process called hydrogenation, which makes the oil more solid (known as hardening).
This type of fat, known as hydrogenated fat, can be used for frying or as an ingredient in processed foods.
The study arrived at the conclusion after examining what happened in several areas in New York which restricted the use of trans fat.
In the online Science News Magazine on Thursday, the study revealed that there would be larger scale public health benefits after a nationwide ban on artificial trans fat begins in the US in 2018.
The magazine said hospital admission rates for heart attacks declined 7.8 per cent more in New York counties that restricted trans fat than in those counties that had not.
“This is the first study that links a trans-fats ban to a reduction in heart disease and stroke in large populations.
“The evidence from this study indicates that implementation of a nationwide ban on trans-fats will reduce heart disease and save many lives in the United States,” it said.
It said the study showed that heart disease caused one in every four deaths in the US.
It further said that coronary heart disease, the most common kind, killed more than 370,000 people each year.
“Past research finds that eating foods containing artificial trans-fats, also called trans-fatty acids, increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
“Among other effects, consuming these fats leads to higher levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or `bad’ cholesterol, a component of artery-clogging plaque.
“Artificial, or industrial, trans-fats occur in vegetable oils that are partially hydrogenated. Foods typically made with these oils include deep-fried fast foods, baked goods, crackers and margarine,’’ it warned.
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