What we all fear: Trans-Fat
Lifestyle & Wellness

What we all fear: Trans-Fat

Human bodies can metabolize only unsaturated fats with cis double bond(s). Trans fats contain trans double bonds and cannot be metabolized by the human body.


There are two types of dietary trans fats: naturally occurring and artificial trans fats. Small amounts of trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals. 


Meat and dairy products from these animals may contain small quantities of these trans fats. Artificial trans fats are formed in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more shelf-stable.


Trans fats intake elevates your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol levels1


Trans fats consumption increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke1. It is also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes1.

Because of the concrete scientific evidence against trans fats intake, the Health Promotion Board recommends that members of the public limit their trans fats intake while still maintaining a nutritionally adequate diet. 


The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food2


Some countries, like Singapore, have banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils as an ingredient in food products2. In Singapore, a regulation limits trans fats to no more than 2g per 100g product for fats and oils supplied to food manufacturers, food and beverage establishments3.


1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1871402119301420


2 https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/final-determination-regarding-partially-hydrogenated-oils-removing-trans-fat

3 https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/2067/5-things-to-start-doing-now-that-transfat-has-been-banned


Posted on 24 Aug, 2021

Posted by Dr. Loke Wai Mun