The Hazards of Trans Fats

Do you eat margarine? How about hydrogenated vegetable oil (or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil)? Shortening? Packaged foods? How about fast food?

You would be surprised at how much of these seemingly innocent foods you are eating – and they are bad news. They are what are known as “trans fats”.

Packaged cookies, crackers, fast food and so many other foods you take for granted are loaded with these foods.

Have you noticed Trans Fats listed on some nutrition labels lately? Have you wondered what they are, and why they are listed? Highly promoted for around half a century as the answer to our health problems, it has been proven to be worse for our health than saturated fats, the very food they were designed to replace!

The government has finally stepped up and is requiring nutrition labels to list the trans fats by 2006. Some manufacturers are doing it now to promote their trans-fat-free foods as awareness increases.

How Trans Fats are Made

  1. First, the desired natural beans are crushed (soybeans, corn, safflower, etc) to make a nice vegetable oil.
  2. Next, the oil is chemically treated with deoderizers and bleaches.
  3. Then a small amount of metal is added (such as nickel) to quicken the molecular changes about to take place.
  4. Last, hydrogen gas is added under very high heat and pressure.
  5. The result is a “plastic” that is thicker and can hold a shape, solid at room temperature.

Hydrogenated vegetable oil. Margarine. Shortening. Trans Fats. All one and the same. Watch the labels for these ingredients, and if you find them in the list, put the food back! If you find it in your pantry or your fridge, throw it away. You’ll be glad you did.

In case you are thinking this is just another scare, consider this: Over the past 20 years, Harvard University has spent more than $100 million dollars on three studies that clearly demonstrate that the people who eat the most trans fats are those who are most likely to develop heart disease.

What Trans Fats Do:

They fool your body. Your cells are designed accept fatty acids – good fats. But trans fats are NOT good fats, and trick your cells. They are accepted by your body, but cannot be metabolized like a real faty acid, and cannot be rejected. The integrity of your cell membrane is compromised and your cell is no longer able to function properly.

But the Government would have warned us, right? They are – finally – but it has been an uphill battle against powerful lobbyists to protect the economics of the companies that manufacture and use this wonder-food.

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