Trans fats can be classified as natural and man-made. Natural trans fats are found in beef, pork, lamb, and dairy products. Man-made trans fats are used to increase the shelf life of many products, and these fats are found to increase the risk of heart disease and clogging the arteries. According to new study, natural trans fats, when used in moderation, do not cause much harm, unlike man-made trans fat. The new study and the results are published in, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In this study, women who had natural trans fats in the form of enriched butter did not have any effect on the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, and other indicators of heart diseases. There was a small decrease in the levels of HDL in some of the participants, especially those who were overweight, when the diet was rich in naturally occurring trans fats.
According to David J. Baer, PhD, supervisory research physiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, milk, though it contains some amount of naturally occurring trans fats, is a very good source of nine essential nutrients. These trans fats do not seem to do as much harm as man-made trans fats. He adds that trans fats cannot be considered to be harmful, as the intake of these fats have been there since man started milking cows.
Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, director of the university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, claims that many things in diet have a gray area, and is not always black and white. She adds that our understanding of the different components of the diet and their impact is incomplete and complicated to make statements that include avoid and add more of particular foods. “The impact of different diets on healthy men, women, overweight men and women, older people is not conclusive and recommendations on food should be general and practical," says Diekman.