A new study in The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) has shown a 28 percent drop in total cholesterol levels among US children between 1988 and 2010. Receiving a large portion of the credit for this development is the FDA 2006 requirement that food labels start listing trans fat amounts, prompting big names in the food industry, like McDonald’s and Frito-Lay, to start cutting out the harmful substance wherever possible.
Trans fat is a butter substitute that results from the addition of hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes it to solidify at room temperature. It was used by many food manufactures because of its low cost and long shelf life. However, research in the early 1990’s showed that it raises LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, while lowering HDL (good cholesterol) levels, greatly increasing a person’s chances of developing coronary heart disease. In fact, a 2006 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the consumption of trans fats was responsible for 30,000 to 100,000 cardiac deaths in the US.
If you suffer from high cholesterol, learn more about it and how to prepare for your doctor appointment with the Vitals High Cholesterol Patient Guide.
Sources: http://www.motherjones.com, http://jama.jamanetwork.com, http://www.nejm.org