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Trans fats, a real danger for your heart

Food has always been a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases: Do you know the dangers trans fats pose to your heart?

Its harmful effects on the heart are becoming more and more obvious: the frequent consumption of trans fats increases by one 34% risk of death and in one 28% deaths due to coronary heart disease. What’s more, they are responsible for more than 500,000 premature deaths per year for coronary heart disease.

This is how he collects it “World Health Organization (WHO) Report on the Global Elimination of Trans Fats 2022 – Countdown to 2023” which warns of the dangers of these fatty acids and the evidence that supports them.

The Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC) insists on the importance of food in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

How does trans fat consumption affect the heart?

As explained by the FEC, trans fatty acids come from two sources:

  • natural. It comes from products like butter, milk or meat of animals ruminants like the cow, the sheep or the goat. Approximately 5% of total trans fat consumption comes from this source.
  • industrial. They occur artificially at the hydrogenate partially vegetable oilsso that it is intended to improve the flavor, texture or durability of food
heart trans fats
Sample of pastries, such as croissants. EFE/Paco Torrente

Whatever its origin, abuse is dangerous for our cardiovascular health.

  • It increases the concentration of LDL cholesterol and decreases HDL. On the one hand, the intake of trans fatty acids increases the concentration of LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad cholesterol“, to be the most harmful, and decrease the concentration of HDL cholesterol or “good cholesterol“, which is the most beneficial.
  • Increased triglycerides and inflammation. In addition, the consumption of this type of fat is associated with an increase in the level of triglycerides and inflammation, and this plays an important role in the development of diabetes and atherosclerosis which, at the same time, increase the cardiovascular risk.

“PACTS for your heart”, for better cardiovascular health

From the FEC the focus is placed on the main cardiovascular risk factors through the campaign “COVENANTS for your heart”an initiative they share with the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC).

Each of the letters in the word PACTES refers to one or more of them:

  • Arterial pressure
  • Food
  • cholesterol i pollution
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • Sedentarism i Health emotional

Given the new WHO report, they emphasize food as an “avoidable” risk.

“Regarding food, compared to the consumption of trans fats we must bet decisively on the Mediterranean diet, which is the one that has shown the most benefits at a cardiovascular level, reducing the risk by 30%”, indicates the doctor Andrés Íñiguez, president of the FEC.

For this reason, the cardiologist insists, introducing vegetables, fruit, legumes, dairy products, cereals and olive oil into our daily diet in the correct proportion and quantity are the keys to following one. heart healthy diet.

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