Silent killers: French fries have loads of trans fats as well as all fried foods
Not only does it rot your teeth and add inches to your waistline, but now researchers have discovered that junk food actually hurts your brain.
By consuming trans fats, found often in fried or processed food, the chemicals send mixed and damaging signals to the brain and lessens its ability to control appetite.
Essentially, by eating junk food, your brain becomes less and less able to tell what you have eaten and continues to make you feel as if you are hungry so that you proceed to eat more.
It's clear that trans fats are bad -- both for your heart and now, we see, for your brain,' said Dr Gene Bowman of Oregon Health & Science University.
Given the somewhat complicated nature of trans fats, it is harder for shoppers to spot goods that contain loads of the molecule. Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fats which are harder for the body to digest given its double carbon-carbon bond.
Brain injury comes as the latest addition to a long list of health problems that stem from the consumption of unsaturated fat. Coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.
The battle against trans fats is not a new one.
While restaurants in New York and Switzerland have been banned from serving dishes that have high levels of trans fats, there are still plenty of everyday foods that are stealthily hiding the destructive ingredients.
Girl Scout cookies, microwavable popcorn, and crackers- like Saltines and Ritz- are some of the worst offenders, and that's ignoring the obvious choices like French fries or fried chicke
Though Mr Bowman conducted a relatively limited study among elderly white Oregonians, his findings have been backed up by countless earlier studies that highlight the difference between the yummy taste and disgusting after-effects of junk food.
All fried foods are not alike. Trans fat
is another name for unsaturated fats which are hydrogenated vegetable fats. Food fried in natural saturated fat like animal fat does not damage your brain and is actually good for you.
A type of trans fat occurs naturally in the milk and body fat of cattle
at a level of 2-5% of total fat.
These animal-based fats were once the only trans fats consumed, but by far the largest amount of trans fat consumed today is created by the processed food industry as a side effect of partially hydrogenating unsaturated plant fats (generally vegetable oils).
For more information on the different types of trans fats read: Not all trans fats are created equal