Trans Fat Raises Cholesterol, Not Blood Sugar   



Trans Fat Raises Cholesterol, Not Blood Sugar

 

Although much-criticized trans fats raise levels of "bad" cholesterol, they don't appear to have a lasting impact on blood sugar levels, according to a U.S. study.

Researchers, writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that both blood sugar and insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar levels in check, were similar regardless of how much trans fat people ate.

The link between trans fats and high cholesterol levels is widely accepted, but there has been a lack of clarity on the effect on blood sugar control, which is involved in diabetes.

"Although evidence from cohort studies has suggested that trans fatty acid (TFA) consumption may be associated with insulin resistance and diabetes, randomized placebo-controlled trials have yielded conflicting results.

Trans fats, technically known as trans fatty acids, are found in animal products and chemically processed vegetable oils.

Some cities and states have banned them in restaurants or schools.

In five of the studies, the participants' blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels were monitored for several weeks under a diet of high trans fat consumption, and again for a few weeks when the trans fats were substituted for other fats, such as palm or soybean oil.

Two of the studies compared people who ate a diet that included trans fats to others who ate a diet without trans fats.

There were no changes in blood sugar or insulin levels during the times when people ate trans fats, compared to when they ate the other fats.

However, the researchers found that during the trans fat-eating weeks, "good" HDL cholesterol went down and "bad" LDL cholesterol went up.

Pereira, who was not involved in the study, said it isn't definitive proof that trans fats can't influence blood sugar levels.

Although several weeks is enough time to see an effect on cholesterol, he said, a potential impact on metabolism might not show up until later.

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Happy reading,
Evelyn



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