Do you—or does someone you know—seem a bit more irritable, angry or aggressive? If so, you may want to check what’s in their diet that may be igniting the crankiness. A recent study warns that margarine and other foods with trans fatty acids can make a person angry, aggressive and irritable—and should not be fed to kids in school or to those in prisons.
I’ll take that a step further and say that no one should ever eat trans fats.
For starters, trans fats are oils that have been chemically altered into solids—mostly for shelf-stable reasons. They’re already known to be hazardous to health and can cause unhealthy cholesterol levels, cardiovascular unhealth, insulin imbalance, blood sugar havoc, greater oxidation and unhealthy levels of inflammation.
But now we know that trans fats are angry fats—thanks to a recent study.
Researchers studied 945 people with different diets and discovered that those who ate large amounts of trans fats were consistently more aggressive. Dr. Beatrice Golomb, lead author of the paper on the study and a professor at the University of California, said, “We found that greater trans fatty acids were associated with greater aggression. High levels of trans fatty acids were more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability. This adds further rationale to recommendations to avoid eating trans fats [because] the detrimental effects of trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others.”
Unfortunately, these fats can still be found in many conventional foods on the market—including ones that say, “0 Trans Fats.” Here’s why: an FDA law allows for a half gram of trans fat per food serving. The result? Small serving sizes can add up quickly to more trans fats than people think they’re getting or want.
As if the “O Trans Fats” weren’t confusing enough, there are other names used for trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils. So be on the lookout for those in the ingredients list.
You’ll also want to avoid practically every conventionally prepared food, baked good or packaged good on the market. As mentioned earlier, the trans fats act as a preservative so that they can last longer on the shelf—and that’s important to the conventional food industry. Fast foods, too, can be especially full of trans fats, so beware.
Lauren Graf, a registered dietitian with Montefiore Medical Center explains, “Many people are trying to avoid trans fats, and this is very appealing to the food industry, who don't want you to know that there are some lurking in their products."
Pretty sneaky, huh?
One thing’s for sure, though. Now that you know the lowdown on these angry fats, do everything in your power to stay away from them.