Study: Eating Trans Fat Could Be Bad For Your Memory

While you’re munching on sticks of margarine and snorfing down packaged snacks, is there a nagging feeling tugging at your brain? Like there’s something you have to remember but… It’s gone, and one group of researchers says it’s that consumption of trans fats that can do some damage to your memory.

The study was presented this week at the American Heart Association conference in Chicago, reports USA Today, and says that out of 690 middle-aged men tested, the ones who said they ate the most trans fat or partially hydrogenated oil, remembered 11 fewer words out of 104 than those who at the least.

Other studies have linked eating food with trans fats to obesity, aggression, heart disease and diabetes. The study’s researchers say trans fats are basically worthless things we’re shoving down our gullets..

“Trans fats increase the shelf life of the food but reduce the shelf life of the person,” said the study’s author, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. “They’re a metabolic poison and that’s not a good thing to be putting into your body,” she said. “They don’t provide anything the body needs.”

Another expert weighed in, saying that this study joins other research showing that what we eat is linked to how we think. As my Great Aunt Enid always said, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

“The supply of nutrients in blood to the brain can actually affect its function,” said Dr. Patrick T. O’Gara, president of the American College of Cardiology.

Why this happens hasn’t been proven, and it’s not clear exactly how trans fat would case memory loss, but other health experts say the findings make sense.

The good news is there are less trans fats out there in the food supply since 2006, which is when food manufacturers were required to list their presence on labels. Most margarine doesn’t have it anymore, and other companies have reconfigured their baked goods’ recipes to take out the hydrogenated vegetable oils.

It’s important to note that even if a food’s label says trans-fat free, that designation can be earned by anything containing less than half a gram of trans fat to be labeled as such. Look out for “partially hydrogenated” on the label instead, and check the ingredient list if you’re gung ho about going trans-fat free completely.

Eating trans fat may damage memory [USA Today]