What are trans fats?

1 Answer
Mar 26, 2018

Fat (lipid) molecules that have at least one double bond in "trans" configuration along the chain.


Because of the geometry, "trans" fat molecules are more linear, and do not have the angled (bent) configuration of the corresponding "cis" type.

The increased linearity means that "trans" fat molecule makes it more easily pack together with other "trans" fat molecules, which enables it to form regular structures that take more energy to disrupt. Essentially it gives "trans" fats higher melt points than "cis", and when ingested as part of foods, they have a tendency to be solid (or more solid) at body temperature, which enables them to plate out on the inside of blood vessels.

That increases the risk of arterial diseases.