Marium Shaikh, Reporter

Avoiding harmful “fatty” foods can help a person to maintain a healthy life.
Photo By: Isabella Rivera, Photographer. 

By: Marium Shaikh, Reporter

Nutrition deficit is a growing issue in today’s society. Trans-fat has received mass amounts of attention for its many harmful effects on health. French fries, fried chicken, and other fried dishes are among the most notorious trans-fat filled and high-cholesterol foods.

A diet high in trans-fats can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. Studies have also indicated that increased trans-fat consumption may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, prostate and breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, liver dysfunction, infertility, depression, and even aggression. Trans-fatty acids or trans-fats are formed when manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats through a process called hydrogenation. This process is performed to lengthen the shelf-life of certain foods.

Junior Sydney Hammond says, “For me, I feel that if you want to improve your body, it is way more than just working out. You should be fueling your body with nutrients and vitamins that will help you reach your health goals, whatever they may be. I know that whenever I may eat junk food I feel sluggish, and fatigued. When you have a healthy diet you will have more energy which is always great to have, especially when most of us stay up late working on school assignments.”

Consuming trans-fats increases the “bad” LDL cholesterol and decreases the “good” HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol leads to a condition called atherosclerosis, which may later lead to heart attack or stroke. In addition to developing atherosclerosis, one may develop peripheral artery disease, which can result when plaque buildup narrows an artery’s supply of blood to the legs. HDL cholesterol or “good” cholesterol is considered beneficial due to its ability to remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Healthy levels of HDL cholesterol can prevent stroke and heart attack.

Sophomore Delaney Garner says, A healthy diet “makes you feel good, gives you more energy and overall makes life feel better.”

Trans-fats also hold important risk factors for heart disease. Research shows that increased consumption of trans-fats leads to increased inflammation in the body, which is a potential risk factor in developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many other conditions. Studies have concluded that trans-fats cause weight gain, especially in abdominal fat, which has the greatest metabolic consequences. It also worsens insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes.

Although some food products may say “no trans-fat,” it does not automatically mean a product is healthier. Many food manufacturers have been known to substitute other ingredients such as tropical oils in place of trans-fat; these oils lead to a rise in saturated fat levels which raise LDL cholesterol. Many food manufacturers and the FDA are working to reduce, or completely remove, trans-fat in foods.

Nutrition and Wellness teacher Mrs. Cynthia Brooks says, “The key to a healthy diet is eating everything in moderation.”

The best way to avoid trans-fat and its negative effects is by choosing lean meat trimmed of all visible fat, using low or no fat dairy foods, and reducing the amount of fast food, takeaway, and deep-fried baked foods from one’s diet.