Avoiding Hydrogenated Oils
Crystal Miller


After researching hydrogenated oils I have become pretty much a purist on this manufactured food product. I stay as far away from any food that contains hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil in it as I can. After studying it I see how very bad it is for us. I have become an avid label reader!

The reason hydrogenation is so bad is that hydrogenated fats are oils (oils that can be bad for us to begin with and often are rancid and old) that have been processed through a method that chemically changes the oils from liquids to solid or semi-solid fats. Hydrogen bubbles are passed through the oil to change its properties. Basically this turns the fat into a synthetic saturated fat. These fats are also known as “trans fats”.

These trans fat’s will interfere with our normal metabolic functions that our bodies need to do; things such as brain cell and nervous system activity, glandular functions, immune system operation, and much more. These normal operations in our body do require fat, but it has to be the right kind of fat or our body will not recognize it nor be able to use it.

The reason these trans fats have become so popular with manufacturers is because they are cheap and they extend the shelf life of food products. Once you start reading labels on the food you buy you will be shocked to see how many products have trans fats in them. To avoid hydrogenated oils is no easy task. But I believe it to be one of the best health decisions we can make for our families.

So what types of fats are ok? Well butter is my first choice. Margarine is a hydrogenated product. One article I read said margarine one step away from plastic! Not sure if that is humor at work or if there is some truth to it. After reading an article on how margarine is made I am thinking it might be leaning on some truth! So butter is the better choice. I know it has gotten a lot of bad publicity but the reality is that butter is a real food. Our grandparents and great grandparents and all the generations before us ate butter. I find it hard to believe that a man made product such as margarine is going to be better for me than eating a product that is God given, a real food and has stood the test of time.

Olive oil is another good choice. Olive oil has also stood the test of time. It has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil has been shown to help control the bad cholesterol while helping to raise the good cholesterol levels. Virgin olive oil is the best choice as is cold pressed oil. Cold pressing oils is the process of squeezing the olives without heating them up or adding any chemicals to obtain the natural oils.

Other real fats would be coconut oil (can be found in many grocery stores and health food stores), palm oil (look for Spectrum brand shortening in a health food store, it is palm oil only), and lard (not grocery store hydrogenated lard).

If you would like more in-depth information on the study on hydrogenated oils, their history and the dangers of hydrogenated oils you will find info on the following websites:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat

You can read more about good fats here: http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/index.html 

I highly recommend the Weston A. Price Foundation website along with the book Nourishing Traditions written by Sally Fallon. The book can be purchased from Amazon.com.

 

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