We have known for more than fifteen years that trans fats increase your risk for heart attacks and possibly some types of cancers such as breast cancer. This summer, Walter Willett, chairman of the Department of Nutrition as Harvard School of Public Health reported that trans fats also increase your risk for getting diabetes.

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health have followed 84,000 women for 14 years. They found no correlation between diabetes and total fats, saturated fats or monounsaturated fats in the diet. However, women whose diets include large amounts of partially hydrogenated oils had a much greater risk of developing diabetes. On the other hand, women who consumed more liquid polyunsaturated vegetable oils had a lower risk of diabetes.

Until labeling laws are changed, the only way to know whether a food contains trans fats is to read the list of ingredients on any processed food. If you see the words "partially hydrogenated" in front of any vegetable oil, the food contains trans fats. Look for another brand that does not include partially hydrogenated oils. See report #D222.

Science News, November 10, 2001, pp. 300-301

Checked 8/9/05

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