Brazilians at risk due to high trans-fat content of their snacks:Study

By Anna Bonar contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Previous study conducted at a Brazilian public university reported high levels of salty snack consumption,' said the researchers
'Previous study conducted at a Brazilian public university reported high levels of salty snack consumption,' said the researchers

Related tags: Salty snacks, Saturated fat, Nutrition

Increased saturated and trans fatty acids in salty snacks pose health hazard to Brazilian college students, say researchers.

Researchers from the University of Rio de Janeiro looked at fat content of 10 types of salty snacks widely consumed by Brazilian college students. 

Writing in Food Chemistry​, the team reported that the analyzed products contained high levels of SFAs and TFAs, which posed a health hazard in light of the increasing consumption of salty snacks, according to the researchers. Moreover, palmitic acid was the most common saturated fatty acid representing 55%.

“This consumption pattern can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the major cause of death worldwide and was attributed to 30% of all deaths in 2005. This is particularly important considering that a previous study conducted at a Brazilian public university reported high levels of salty snack consumption,” ​said the researchers.

Study results

Across the range of salty snacks twenty-seven fatty acids were identified: 13 saturated fatty acids (SFA) six monosaturated fats (MUFA), six Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) PUFA and two trans fatty acids (TFA). 

For the purpose of the study total lipids were extracted using the Brigh and Dyer method (1959).

The recommended portion size of the following snacks was analyzed: bread cheese (150 g), ham and cheese croissant (132 g), catupiry (cream cheese) and chicken croissant (128 g), croissant with four types of cheese (113 g), baked hamburger with cheddar cheese (124 g), cream cheese and chicken croissant (122 g), ham and cheese in a puff pastry (115 g), catupiry and chicken in a puff pastry (139 g), Italian snack (157 g), and cheese and turkey breast in a whole wheat croissant (112 g).

The results of this study featured in a healthy-eating booklet prepared for distribution among the students.

Source:Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print: DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.08.133
Fatty acid profile of biscuits and salty snacks consumed by Brazilian college students
Authors: F.Da Silva Lima Dias, M. Assis Passos et al.

Related topics: R&D, Snacks, Health

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