Q:

What is the definition of hydrogenated fat?

A:

Ask Dr. Sears defines hydrogenated fat as a fat that results from the process of hydrogenation, which is when hydrogen molecules are forced into a normally unsaturated fat molecule. About.com Nutrition states that this process changes the shape of the fat molecules and gives the oil a semi-solid or solid texture.

According to Ask Dr. Sears, using hydrogenated fats is advantageous because they have a longer shelf life and they are cheaper. Hydrogenated oils are commonly used in processed foods such as cookies, peanut butter, margarine, cakes, shortening, chips and crackers. Hydrogenated oils are also used for frying in restaurants because they stand up well to heat and last longer.

Despite their advantages of cost and convenience, Ask Dr. Sears states that hydrogenated oils have several negative health effects. Nutritionally, hydrogenated fats are not useful to the human body. Hydrogenated oils contain trans-fatty acids, which have been shown to raise LDL, or bad cholesterol levels and to lower HDL, or good cholesterol levels in the blood. Trans fats may also reduce the body's ability to metabolize fats that the body needs and decrease the body's ability to fight inflammation. Consuming hydrogenated fats may also lead to a decreased intake of other essential fatty acids that are important to organ function.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some ways to get fat?

    A:

    Gaining weight is accomplished by counting calories, eating more often, eating more healthy food rich in calories, reducing calorie loss and gaining muscle mass. A healthy balance is obtained by planning in advance each day and tracking the progress made. If a dieter has any medical problems, a registered dietician should be consulted prior to gaining weight.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    Does coffee make you fat?

    A:

    Drinking coffee excessively can lead to a metabolic change that encourages the body to retain fat more easily. A study in Australia found that this shift occurs in people who drink more than five or six cups of coffee daily. The data was gleaned from tests on mice, who also developed insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What causes belly fat?

    A:

    The Mayo Clinic explains that the biggest factor in determining belly fat is the balance between calorie expenditure and calorie intake. However, age is also a significant factor because muscle mass decreases while fat increases over time. Gaining and carrying fat around the waist rather than the hips or upper torso can also have a genetic component.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How much fat does the body need per day?

    A:

    A person on a 2,000 calorie daily diet requires 20 to 35 percent of those calories from fat, which is approximately 44 to 78 total grams. Daily calorie limits vary according to a person's age, weight and gender.

    Full Answer >

Explore