This will have you putting the package of cookies back on the shelf. If trans fats weren’t unhealthy enough, now a study is linking them to possible memory damage. Trans fat is normally found in margarine, and is used in pre-packaged food, such as cookies, to increase shelf life.

The study wasn’t on baby boomers heading into their twilight years, either. Researchers used 690 young and middle-aged men. Those eating the most trans fat, or partially hydrogenated oil, recalled 11 fewer words out of 104 than those that consumed the least amount. Essentially, binging on cookies and crackers is not conducive to your SAT score.

Study author Dr. Beatrice Golomb didn’t mince words when it came to slamming the ingredient. “Trans fats increase the shelf life of the food but reduce the shelf life of the person. “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.”

Tell us how you really feel doc. Additional research on trans fat has linked it to obesity, aggression, diabetes and heart disease. While the cause-and-effect hasn’t been proven with this study, most researchers are accepting it as making sense. It does so much damage, it isn’t shocking that it leads to memory issues.

Removing Trans Fat

Since 2006, companies have started to shape up as government regulations required them to label foods with trans fat. Margarine was reformulated, along with a majority of packaged food. Of course it wouldn’t be the United States without a loophole. Any food that contains less than a half a gram of trans fat can be labeled trans fat free. Why? It’s the government. If it made sense, I’d be afraid.

The loophole has allowed companies like Keebler to skirt the around the restrictions. Consumers can check the goods by flipping it over and reading the ingredient list. If you see something ‘partially hydrogenated’ you have found a trans fat.

If you have been raiding the cookie aisle with reckless abandon, there’s still hope. It’s all about diet and exercise. Common sense approaches. We all know the tips. Healthy lifestyle equals healthy you.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2014.

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