In the beginning, hydrogenated fats start out as being of the harmless unsaturated kind. However, as hydrogen is added through processing, they become more solid and dangerous.
Hydrogenated fats are found in many different types of processed food from soups to chips to pastries. There are also in frozen pizza as well as deep fried foods such as donuts and chicken. One of the most common sources is margarine and vegetable oil.
The problem with hydrogenated fats or lipids is that they can lead to high cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol in turn causes fat to build up in the arteries so that they narrow and harden. This leads to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
While many people are aware that eating large amounts of butter and other products high in saturated fat is not good for them, less are aware of the dangers of what may be found in margarines and other products.
If these lipids have gone through a hydrogenation process in order to make the product last longer, this means of preservation may turn them into a more solidified form. For example, corn oil in its natural state is good for you but when producers add hydrogen to preserve it, it becomes a source of harm. This is because it now contains what is known as trans fats.
Hydrogenated fats are thought to be just as dangerous as saturated fats, yet manufacturers are not legally required to list their presence. Therefore, its important to keep a careful eye on potentially harmful substances that you may unwittingly be consuming.
Just check the labels and of course think about ultra processed foods (UPFs) as being the source of many of these fats.