Trans fats and vitamin deficient diets undermine our health

Trans fats are found in a lot of snack foods like chips, fries, cookies, crackers and breads. They are found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. The foods with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils also tend to be made with refined white flour.

There is evidence, according to research published in the November, 2004 issue of the Journal of Clinical Nutrition that consumption of trans fats, combined with deficiency of vitamins B6, B12 and magnesium can lead to calcified plaques that can block the coronary arteries. One of the great ironies of the American diet is that the foods that have trans fats also tend to be low in vitamins B6, B12 and magnesium.

By culturing endothelial cells (the cells that line arteries), University of Illinois researchers were able to show that calcification of the endothelial tissue (i.e. plaque formation) is related to the amount of trans fat. However, the problems caused by the trans fat can be mitigated with adequate magnesium levels. Vitamins B6 and B12 help to lower homocysteine levels—another risk factor for heart disease. Refined white flour is low in these vitamins, but they are found in abundance in whole grains.

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