Why Diabetics Should Avoid Trans Fats

For the last 30 years, trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, have been added to almost every packaged food in the United States. Even foods that claim to be trans fats free have these dangerous fats hidden within. Check the ingredients; if partially hydrogenated oils (such as canola, soybean, or sunflower oils) are listed, then the food will most likely contain trans fats.

Refined oils such as canola, soybean, sunflower and safflower oil are heated and deodorized in the production process. When heated, the fatty acids in these oils transform into trans-fats.

Trans fats are thick and glue-like fats, which clog up the cell membranes, preventing glucose and nutrients from entering the cells.

Omega 3 fats help our cells maintain a fluid plasma cell membrane, making it easy for glucose and nutrients to enter our cells. But, when trans fats are consumed, they replace the Omega 3 fats in the cell membranes, thereby inhibiting the transport of glucose into the cells. When glucose cannot enter the cells, blood sugar and insulin levels will rise.

Not only do oils such as canola, soybean, sunflower, corn, and safflower oils contain trans fats, but they also contain Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 worsens diabetes, and trans fats make the cell membranes very hard, thereby preventing the entry of glucose into the cells. Without glucose, the cells starve and blood sugar will rise.

Additionally, trans fats increase breast cancer risk by more than 45%. Trans fats also raise bad cholesterol and reduce HDL cholesterol. Consumption of trans fats have been linked to heart attacks, as much as saturated animal fats*. Margarine which is high in trans fats, should be avoided.