Runners, Beware: Why Are Trans Fats Bad For Your Health?


Nutrition is a division of science that is known for a lot of disagreements, debate, and difference in opinions. But one common fact that all doctors and nutritionists agree to is the harmful and downright toxic effects of trans fats on the human health. It’s a matter of great relief that the consumption of this particular toxic fat has reduced to a minimum over the recent years, all thanks to the extensive research on this subject and the adoption of the following research results by those who value their health. But, to be precise, trans fats is still finding its way into the morning plate. The motive of writing this article is to simply highlight the ill effects of consuming trans fats followed by how to avoid the same while you are shopping for groceries.

A Brief Definition of Trans Fats

Trans fatty acids or simply called “trans fats” is a derivative of unsaturated fat. This is an artificial form of fat that is factory-made which means it is unnatural. Trans fats are formed when vegetable oils are heated and hydrogen gas is made to pass through it. This, in turn, raises the melting point of the oil and therefore, the oil starts to become viscous and ultimately turns solid.

Trans Fats and Heart Disease Risk


Various clinical trials have been carried out in the recent years where volunteers were fed trans fats instead of carbohydrates and other healthy fats. Health risk factors that involved cardiovascular diseases, ailments of the circulatory system as well as carcinogenic properties of trans fats, were the principal evaluation sectors of the study. After the trials, it was seen that there was a significant increase of LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol and reduced HDL or the ‘good’ cholesterol on the participants. In most of the cases, consumption of any form of fat tends to increase both the HDL and LDL forms of cholesterol in the blood, but trans fats are an exception. Moreover, replacing carbohydrates with food items containing trans fats negatively impacts lipoproteins that in the long term can lead to heart attacks, blocked arteries, and diseases of the circulatory system.

How to Avoid Trans Fats?

‘READ THE LABELS’, a simple yet effective way to avoid trans fats if you are a lover of food items from the local grocery store. Avoid food items that have ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’ ingredients printed on the product label. To be fair, this won’t be enough, as the best alternative is to avoid processed food items altogether. Opting for real dairy products like butter or cheese instead of margarine; and coconut or olive oil for your salads instead of vegetable oils, are the best alternatives. Another effective way is to take some time out from your daily schedule and choose to cook your own food at home using natural and organic ingredients.

Running will melt the trans fats away.

The benefits of running are endless, but to name a few, running makes a person mentally and emotionally happy. Physically, it can make the knees and joints solid. In short, running strengthens the bones. Running can also make a person’s mind sharp as he becomes aware of his surroundings. It is also a very good way to shed off the pounds and with that includes the excess fats in your body. If you keep away from foods that contain trans fats and run or jog at least 20 minutes each day, you are secured from contracting cardiovascular diseases triggered by trans fats consumption and possibly, cancer. It can even make you a physically fit person, too.


Natural trans fats from animal products such as steak, pork and etc… are safe if taken in a limited amount. The keyword here is LIMITED AMOUNT. But, for artificially-prepared trans fats such as margarine or hydrogenated vegetable oils, it is really bad for your overall health, especially for your heart. If an individual continues to include artificial trans fats in his diet, inflammation of the heart and arteries, resistance to insulin in case he or she is a diabetic and heart failure risks are sure on the menu. Even though people these days are avoiding this harmful substance altogether, many ‘trans fats’ free products available in the market contain this harmful substance in them – so, be vigilant and cautious.

The message one should learn from this article is that running will only solve half of your health problems, but it won’t matter if you still continue to eat those burgers and fries from the fast food restaurant. It is best to opt for home-cooked meals instead of fast food or junk food items from the grocery or diner near you. Exercising daily is imperative as well – running is perhaps the best cardio workout to do. With that, you have to practice discipline and restraint if you want to live longer and healthier.