Hydrogenated Fatty Acids, Trans Fat and Saturated Fat: Food List

Understanding Fat

FINALLY! Understanding Fat: Explains the difference between Saturated, unsaturated and trans fat.
FINALLY! Understanding Fat: Explains the difference between Saturated, unsaturated and trans fat. | Source

Hydrogenated Oils

Not all oils are made the same. How our bodies react to oils depends on the oil. There are good fats and then there are bad fats. Guess which one is cheaper and has a longer shelf life? The bad one of course. Hydrogenated oils.

Hydrogenated oils are quickly becoming a growing concern for the health conscious individual. The long term negative effects of consuming foods with hydrogenated oils is a major topic of discussion around the world. These oils are a common staple in food factories and restaurants. Can we learn from our mistakes? Will industries consider these changes cost effective and necessary for our health? These are questions we need to consider when we purchase and consume our daily meals.

So what is the big deal?

Hydrogenated Oils, Trans Fat and Saturated Fat

What are Hydrogenated Oils? Hydrogenated oils occur when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil. The process is called hydrogenation and creates trans fat. The purpose of this process is to create shelf life but hydrogenated oils and trans fat are very bad for our health.

What is Trans Fat? Hydrogenated oils and man-made processed fats are trans fats. These fats are thick and cause numerous health issues.

What is Saturated Fat? Saturated fats primarily come from plants and animals. Plant sources include coconut, cocoa butter and palm oil. Animal sources are usually, beef, pork and dairy.

Cholesterol: Hydrogenated oils, trans fat and saturated fats increase low density lipoprotein (LDLs). LDLs are the bad cholesterol. While the LDLs are being raised the high density lipoproteins (HDLs) are being lowered. One of the functions of HDLs is to capture excessive cholesterol in the blood but if they are reduced the excessive cholesterol accumulates. This accumulation leads to plaque build up.

Common foods that contain hydrogenated oil:

Read the nutrition label for confirmation.

  • Margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • White bread (some wheat and multigrain breads)
  • Non dairy whipped cream
  • Non dairy coffee cream
  • Peanut butter (try natural options)
  • Ice cream
  • Waffles
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Cake, pancake and biscuit mixes
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Taco shells
  • Chips
  • Noodle cups
  • Sauce mixes
  • Frozen Pizza

Foods and Hydrogenated Oils

What types of foods contain hydrogenated oils?

  • Baked Goods: Most baked goods contain hydrogenated oils. These include cakes, doughnuts and cookies.
  • Frozen Foods: The frozen food section is another corral for hydrogenated oils. Frozen foods like pizza, waffles, pot pies, t.v. dinners and breaded dishes are usually prepared with hydrogenated oils.
  • Bagged Snacks: If you are like me you can't just have one chip. The majority of chips contain hydrogenated oils. Ask yourself, did they fry this? If the answer is yes and it is a commercial product then chances are it has hydrogenated oils. Check the labels. Many breakfast and energy bars are full of trans fat. So are most cereals.
  • Fast Food: Need a quick meal? You may want to reconsider your order. Fast food restaurants are notorious for their excessive use of hydrogenated oils. I know, french fries are so good but they are not prepared in a healthy manner.

Why is hydrogenated oil bad for your health?

Childhood Obesity: Studies show hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and monosodium glutamate are fueling the childhood obesity epidemic in our nation. Aside from fast food diets, culprits include prepackaged snacks and meals.

Coronary Heart Disease: Dietary intake of industrially hydrogenated trans fatty acids has been associated with coronary heart disease.

The effects of hydrogenated oils build up in your system over time. Let's take a look back at how hydrogenated oils affect cholesterol. The build up of plaque in your arteries is called arteriosclerosis and can be extremely dangerous or even fatal.

The build up of plaque does not only affect the heart, it can affect your brain and other organs too. Studies show that cell membranes can become stiff and rigid with a diet of bad fats. If the cell membrane is rigid it is not fluid and cannot function properly. Therefore, bad fats can affect our brain function too.

Main Points:

  • Raises bad cholesterol.
  • Lowers good cholesterol.
  • Increases triglycerides.
  • Promotes plaque build up (arteriosclerosis).
  • Causes inflammation.

"Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories."

— American Heart Association Nutrition Committee

Analyze the recommendation from the American Heart Association;

LESS than ONE percent of our daily calorie intake should come from trans fat.

Example, a 2000 calorie diet should not exceed 2 grams of trans fat.

Old Skippy Peanut Butter Commercial Bragging About Hydrogenated Oil

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares

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Comments 14 comments

healthwriterbob profile image

healthwriterbob 4 years ago from United States

Hi missolive,

Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking hub. I was glad to see that you pointed out that hydrogenated oils can increase LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is one of the components of the arterial plaque that you talked about. Your comments about how french fries taste really good, but can be very bad for a person's health really hit home for me. I have often said that one of the paradoxes of life is that the foods that taste the best are often the ones that are the most harmful to health. Voted up and interesting. Sharing with my followers.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I voted this one way up there as it provides great information useful in saving lives. Your facts are proven truths and your advice is right on with what will help to cut those dangerous oils and fats out of our lives.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Marisa, you have highlighted a very prominent issue - the one on trans fat and hydrogenated oils. We have been so conditioned to tasty foods that invariably have a lot of unhealthy fat that it is going to take a lot of effort to get ourselves away from them.

Great reminder.

Voting up and all across. Shared too.


jeyaramd profile image

jeyaramd 4 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

Great hub on the different oils we consume. Certainly we should check our LDL and HDL levels by performing a lipid panel test with your doctor. The doctor would initially recommend life style changes followed by drugs to reduce the cholesterol build up in your arteries if its not responding to life style changes. Awesome hub. Thanks for sharing.


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas Author

healthwriterbob, I'm honored that you liked this hub. Yes, french fries - YUM! Training our taste-buds is not always an easy task :( Thanks for the votes and for sharing, it is greatly appreciated.

teaches12345, Thank you! I want you to know how heartwarming it is to have your continued support and presence on my hubs. It has not gone unnoticed. :)

rajan jolly, Hi friend! Yes, we have LOTS of cleaning up to do. Physically and economically. I do hope most commercial providers in the food industry follow suit. Thanks for the votes and shares.

jeyaramd, you are absolutely correct. Regular blood work and reviewing our lipids is important. Thank you for your support and for your suggestion.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Did you sneak this in on me? How did I miss it? I am glad I happened to be prospecting and checked to see what you have been up to!

Not sure if I told you this but Lulu was diagnosed with high cholesterol at 8 years old! I had to learn a lot of this back then but now there is more information! I was always so confused...and her case was a bit serious she had a level of like 270 - 280 ...! I found out...a happy meal is really nothing but a big old sad sack! haha

You did a great job of making this understandable...and now you reminded me I better get Sydney checked! Normally they do not check kids for this.


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas Author

RealHousewife, Hi Kelly! Not only did I sneak it up on you your comment must have snuck away as well. I barely saw your comment - lol Aren't we a pair?! :)

That is funny how you mentioned Happy Meals. I remember being so excited about buying my Briana her first Happy Meal and now I realize how unhealthy it REALLY was. We need to be more vigilant. Thanks for stopping by and seeking out my hub. Take care of yourself and your girls - AND your hubby too! :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Very useful and informative hub. So many people do not understand the difference in the fats and oils. You've explained what they are so well.


Golfgal profile image

Golfgal 4 years ago from McKinney, Texas

Why does everything that tastes so good have to be so bad? Veggies are the key to health for sure.

Eat your veggies everyone.


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas Author

Just Ask Susan, Thank you. Yes, it is nice to know there are some good oils out there. Unfortunately, junk food is not usually made with good fat - darn! :)

Golfgal, I know! Believe me I hear you but there is some really tasty healthy foods out there. It is time to get creative and take care of ourselves with yummy recipes (said from the mouth that devoured more than too many fries yesterday). You are correct - eat veggies! ahemmm....too bad french fries don't count :)


Live 4 years ago

We have lived and prosper on borrowed times. If you live above 60 years it's a bonus otherwise thank GOD for the life He's given to us. Eat and drink and be merry... be thankfull for each and every meal He's given to us and for the very life's he blessed us


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas Author

Live, Yes, we should always be thankful for our meals and life. 60 seems a bit to young to draw as a deadline (no pun intended) though. Thank you for reading and commenting.


Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 20 months ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Very interesting and I totally agree with you on all the fat. One thing though, the jury is still out on the whole cholesterol thing! Seems we do not know all about the workings yet.


missolive profile image

missolive 19 months ago from Texas Author

Hendrika, thank you. Yes, cholesterol issues can be hard to pinpoint, my grandmother had high cholesterol despite her attempts of maintaining a healthy diet. Regardless, hydrogenated oils have been proven to raise bad cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol. We should really stay away from it and trans fats.

Thank you again for reading and commenting.

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