Trans fats just as bad as lard

| February 25, 2014
gerald deas

Dr. Gerald Deas


Now, I don’t know about you, but in my home, “Lard” was the shortening of the day and fatback added taste to the greens. Chicken was fried in lard, chops were fried in lard and so were French fries. Those flaky biscuits were made with lard. My “Lard,” everything was fried in lard and it tasted so good. I’m sure that the taste buds jumped with joy but our arteries were moaning and groaning because of the accumulation of fat. This use of shortening continued until margarine, a hydrogenated vegetable oil now known as trans fat, was introduced.

Lard was produced from the fat of the pig and was known as a saturated fat. This type of fat, which was ingested in large quantities, was the cause of a great deal of heart disease and strokes. Trans fats, which are found in large quantities in baked goods, snacks, crackers, chips and a host of fast foods, have the same qualities of saturated fats in damaging blood vessels.

Trans fats cause an increase in the bad cholesterol known as LDL (low density lipoprotein), which damages the arteries. This type of fat also decreases the good cholesterol HDL (high density lipoprotein), which removes the buildup of cholesterol on the wall of the arteries.

The public is finally being made aware of the danger of ingesting large amounts of trans fats. For a healthy diet, there should be no more than two to four grams of trans fats ingested daily. Vegetarians take in very low amounts of trans fats. To control the amount of trans fats in your diet, one must read food labels very carefully. I am amazed every time I pick up a box of cookies and see the amount of trans fats in a serving. Remember, It is the serving that counts. Palm oil and coconut oils also contain a large amount of saturated fats.

For you to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, I would suggest strongly that you become aware of the amount of saturated fats and trans fats that you take in your diet.

Remember the following lines from the opening song of my musical Oh! Oh! Obesity:

You think that we are fat?

You think we ate all of that?

Butt we know where it’s at

Wherever we sit, you know we sat……..Keep trans fats down!

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Category: Health

About the Author ()

Gerald W. Deas, MD, MPH, MA is a physician, poet, patient advocate, playwright, media personality, political activist and public health crusader. Read his full bio at

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