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Trans Fats Could Make You Aggressive

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Trans Fats Could Make You Aggressive

Trans fats, known to increase the risk of heart disease, may also affect your personality. Researchers have found an association between trans fats and aggression.

If you feel irritable after eating a trans fat-laden plate of french fries, science may be able to explain why. A study conducted at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, showed that eating trans fatty acids (trans fats) is associated with irritability and aggression.

Published in PLoS ONE, the study of 945 men and women is the first to link trans fats with negative behaviours such as aggression and impatience.

What are trans fats?
Trans fats are a product of the hydrogenation process which allows unsaturated oils to remain solid at room temperature.

What foods contain trans fats?
Trans fats are found in

  • margarines and shortenings
  • commercial bakery products
  • snack foods
  • fried foods such as french fries and burgers
  • breaded foods

Many manufacturers in Canada have taken steps to reduce the amount of partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats they use in their products and use healthier fats. Likewise, fast food chains are also attempting to reduce trans fats in their food items.

How to avoid trans fats
The following tips can help you reduce the consumption of trans fats.

  • Read labels on prepackaged foods. If they contain trans fats or use hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated ingredients, avoid them.
  • Avoid fried foods.
  • Choose fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.

Universal finding
The association between trans fat consumption and aggressive behaviours was consistent across both sexes, all ages, and ethnic groups studied.

Social repercussions of eating trans fats?
“If the association between trans fats and aggressive behaviour proves to be causal, this adds further rationale to recommendations to avoid eating trans fats, or including them in foods provided at institutions like schools and prisons, since the detrimental effects of trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others,” says researcher Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD.

Trans fats have long been known to increase our risk of developing heart disease. By avoiding them, you may also find that you’re a kinder, calmer person too.

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