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1. A trans fatty acid.
2. Trans fatty acids considered as a group.
trans fatAn unsaturated fat containing a trans—i.e., the carbon moieties on the two sides of the double bond point in opposite directions—(E)- isomer. Trans fats (TFs) are not found in nature; minimal TFs are present in animal fats. TFs are abundant in margarines, frying fats and shortenings, and are formed when polyunsaturated fat-rich vegetable and marine oils and vegetable shortenings are “hardened” by partial hydrogenation, producing fats with a firmness and consistency desired by both food manufacturers and consumers. The most abundant TF is elaidic acid and its isomers, which are 18-carbon molecules with one double bond.
TFs comprise 6 to 8% of the daily per capita consumption of fat in developed nations; health experts recommend reduction of TFs to trace amounts, as increased dietary TFs result in increased total and LDL-cholesterol, reduced HDL-cholesterol and an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
A fat derived from the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils. Examples include vegetable shortening and margarine. Studies have associated trans-fat consumption with an increased risk for coronary artery disease.
See also: fat