What is all the fuss about hydrogenated oils, or trans fats? Aren’t they OK to eat in moderation?
The hydrogenated fat you eat becomes part of your brain and nervous tissue. Because of its unnatural structure, cells and neurons composed partly of hydrogenated fat do not function properly.
The brain is made up of the fat you eat
If someone calls you a fat head they are not off the mark. The brain is made up mostly of fat, including the fat you eat. While hydrogenated fats are best known for contributing to cardiovascular disease, lesser known is their impact on brain health. Hydrogenated oils have been molecularly restructured for a long shelf life and are found in many processed foods.
Cell membranes communicate with other cells and determine what is allowed to enter and exit the cell. These membranes incorporate hydrogenated oils into their structure, making them more rigid and less able to function properly. The nerve sheaths that insulate and protect neurons also incorporate trans fats.
Trans fats disrupt brain function
When trans fats become part of the cells and the nerve sheaths they replace vital brain fats, such as DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid. As a result cellular communication suffers, the cells degenerate, and the person can experience a wide range of consequences, including diminished mental performance, mood disorders, memory loss, or health problems.
Trans fats slow brain circulation
Trans fats are best known for their contribution to cardiovascular disease by thickening the blood, slowing circulation, and clogging arteries. The brain, too, has a vascular system that delivers nutrients and oxygen and removes toxins throughout the brain. When this vascular system becomes clogged with trans fats, this also impacts brain health and function.
One food that is not ok in moderation
Although conventional wisdom says all things are OK in moderation, hydrogenated fats are a man-made substance closer to plastic than food. When eaten they become a part of your cells and your brain for some time. Therefore it is best to avoid them completely.