The really bad fats, and probably the worst fats that exist, are called trans fats. These fats are produced when the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils undergo a process called hydrogenation, where hydrogen atoms are added to the polyunsaturated fats.
These very, very bad fats raise your blood levels of cholesterol and saturated fat, and lower your blood levels of your good HDL cholesterol. This type of bad fat is contained in foods such as baked goods, cookies, crackers, chips, margarine, and shortening. Avoid all products that say, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated on the label. Unfortunately, the FDA will not be labeling the amount of trans fats contained in the foods you eat until 2006, so it is prudent to avoid all products that have hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated on the label.Several new studies however, indicate that trans- fats can also increase the levels of a cellular component in the body, called tumor necrosis factor. This cellular component is considered a risk factor for diabetes, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, heart failure and certain fonns of cancer. It is thought that these conditions result ftom an inflammation that occurs in the body, caused by this tumor necrosis factor.The following is a partial list of foods with high levels of trans-fats: MargarineNon-dairy creamersPackaged cakes and cookiesPackaged cakes and cookiesDoughnuts and muffinsFrozen dinnersCereal and energy bars Crackers, chips and pretzelsFast-foods (burgers, fried foods)Food manufacturers started using trans fats in place of saturated fats in the mid-1980s. They thought that this type of fat would be healthier than saturated fat; however, it was discovered that these trans fats were as bad, if not worse, then the saturated fats that they initially used. These trans fats can raise the bad LDL cholesterol and lower the good HDL cholesterol. They also may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. These trans fats were also added to foods to extend the shelf life of certain foods, much like preservatives are added to extend shelflife. These are very, very bad fats! Be very afraid!