You've likely known for years about how dangerous "trans" fats are for you. They're so bad even conventional medicine has recommended food manufacturers take them out of their products. Trans fats, as you may know, are the heat adulterated fats found in margarine. Trans fats are actually far worse for you than saturated fats, which, in my book, are neutral. One of the biggest dangers from trans fats is that we've suspected they alter/impair critical enzymes that make beneficial hormones, like prostaglandins. But now we see that they can cause your cholesterol to oxidize and wreak havoc on your body.
Animals with high cholesterol are vulnerable to lower levels of a growth factor called TGF-B (transforming growth factor beta). If TGF-B is low in endothelial cells (inner vascular lining cells), the atherosclerosis process speeds up.
In a new study, a research team evaluated the effects of a high trans-fat diet on TGF-B in aortic endothelial cells. They wanted to see how those cells will integrate cholesterol into the arterial wall. Animals fed high trans fats for 24 weeks showed accelerated atherosclerosis lesions. They also had suppressed TGF-B in their aortic endothelial cells. There was marked/profound reduction of TGF-B responses when the animals ate the toxic fats. The scientists theorized that this process allowed greater entry of cholesterol into the vascular walls.
I've always said that it's not your cholesterol level to worry about. It's what your body does with the cholesterol. A high trans-fatty acid diet can cause higher levels of damaged (oxidized) cholesterol in your diet as well. This compounds the situation.
Most Americans are used to eating foods cooked with, or in, oil. Almost all of this oil is vegetable. That might sound good. But most of this vegetable oil comes from terribly cheap sources, like corn, soy, etc. These unsaturated fats are subject to intra-molecular transformation to trans fats, simply by heating them.
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Furthermore, all foods have fatty acids. The heat from just cooking can cause some transformation. Few people have looked at this issue as heavily as I and Brian Peskin, my fatty acid mentor, have. This is just one more reason why I urge less cooked foods. Meat, loaded with cholesterol and fatty acids, should be cooked to avoid the horrific infections you'll get from modern slaughterhouses. But I still suggest cooking it only so it is rare – don't overcook it. Obviously, don't use any margarine or anything with "hydrogenated" oil, as that, by definition, means it contains trans fatty acids. It's vital you eliminate adulterated fatty acids in your diet and replace them with fully functional fatty acids and your body can begin major repairs!
Prof. Peskin and I just wrote a book called PEO Solution. In this book, we detail how fish oil and cooked oils are destroying your health. You can order this book simply by following this link.