Hydrogenated Fatty Acids, Trans Fat and Saturated Fat: Food List
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.
- Vegetable shortening
- White bread (some wheat and multigrain breads)
- Non dairy whipped cream
- Non dairy coffee cream
- Peanut butter (try natural options)
- Ice cream
- Breakfast cereals
- Cake, pancake and biscuit mixes
- Instant mashed potatoes
- Microwave popcorn
- Taco shells
- 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.
- 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