Biology and You

You and Food

What is a trans fat?

The term “trans” fat refers to the arrangement of hydrogen atoms around the carbon backbone of the fatty acid. A trans-fatty acid is a molecule that has a carbon backbone with hydrogen atoms attached in a manner that is not normally found in nature. Most naturally occurring fatty acids have their hydrogen arranged in the “cis” form. In trans fats, some of these hydrogens are attached on opposite sides of the fatty acid molecule in what is known as a “trans” (as opposed to “cis”) formation.


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