Partially Hydrogenated Oils to End
In many previous posts and videos I’ve talked about the horrors of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. They were one of the greatest evils to your health. You probably know partially hydrogenated oils by the name Trans Fat. For years the US Food and Drug Administration looked the other way, continuing to view them as “Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)”. It’s true.
Finally, in 2015 the FDA completed extensive research into partially hydrogenated oils and determined that removing these artificial trans fats could prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths each year. [Even though The Center for Science in the Public Interest urged the FDA to acknowledge the health risk in 1993 and in November of 2013 the FDA found that partially hydrogenated oils were not generally recognized as safe!]
Even with that determination the FDA extended the compliance date to June 18, 2018. Yes, last month was the final time that manufacturers could add partially hydrogenated oils to foods.
YEA!!!! (25 years + later, but still yea!)
Here’s a fun timeline of artificial trans fat.
Of course, there’s always a catch. Three years may have not been enough time for manufacturers to comply (I know, REALLY?!?) so products produced prior to June 18, 2018 will be allowed to work through distribution channels until January 1, 2020. So don’t think that food on your grocery stores shelf is guaranteed to be free of partially hydrogenated fats, yet. They could still be there for another year and a half!
On the good side though, the FDA did deny the Grocery Manufacturers Associations request to approve certain limited uses of partially hydrogenated oils. Thankfully! Because any about of partially hydrogenated oils can cause havoc within your body. But, again, a catch. Because the GMA made the request the FDA extended the compliance date for a year for these “limited uses of partially hydrogenated oils”. So many manufactured foods may still have trans fats.
Take away: Still Be Diligent and check the nutrition facts and ingredients!
Fats – What Does It Mean?
The term fats actually refers to triglycerides, the major form of lipid found in the body and in foods. Triglycerides, are made of fatty acids and glycerol. Tissues all over the body can easily assemble or disassemble triglycerides as needed. Fatty acids (fats) can differ from one another in two ways, in chain length and in degree of saturation. Each species of animal, including human, makes its own characteristic kinds of triglycerides, determined by genetics. But, fats in the diet can affect the types of triglycerides made. As an example, animals raised for food can be fed diets containing softer or harder triglycerides to give the animal softer or harder fat, depending on consumer demand. This is why it’s so important to eat organic, naturally raised meats rather than factory farmed meats. We want to ingest only good fats.
Fats – Explained
Saturation refers to whether or not a fatty acid chain is holding all of the hydrogen atoms it can hold. If it is filled to capacity with hydrogen it is called a saturated fatty acid or saturated fats. If the chain has a place where hydrogens are missing, such as in the fatty acids of plants and fish, there is a point of unsaturation, which is known as an unsaturated fatty acid. One point of unsaturation is called a monounsaturated fatty acid or monounsaturated fats. Two or more points of unsaturation is a polyunsaturated fatty acid or polyunsaturated fats. The more unsaturated the fats, the more liquid the fat is at room temperature. The more saturated the fats, the firmer the fast.
Keep in mind though that all fats are a combination of fatty acids. Their classification is determined by the highest percentage of saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fatty acids. So no fats are just one type of fats.
Fats – The Devil is Partially Hydrogenated Fat
Trans fats are a type of fat molecule produced by a process called “partial hydrogenation” which rearranges the hydrogen atoms in liquid unsaturated fats to produce an unnatural fat which is solid at room temperature. This is the kind of fat that manufacturers use for frying and to make many processed foods. It is less expensive for manufacturers to use partially hydrogenated vegetables oils than to use natural saturated fats. Plus, trans fatty acids (trans fats) allow products to have a longer shelf life which is good for the companies, but not good for our health.
Trans fats are incorporated into our cell membranes, but are missing the hydrogen pairs needed for chemical reactions to occur. This results in dysfunction and chaos on the cellular level. Some of the most alarming research, dating back to 1990 shows that trans fats lowers HDL cholesterol (that’s the good stuff) and raises the bad LDL cholesterol and the total serum cholesterol. It’s also shown that consuming trans fats raises the blood sugar levels and causes people to weight more than people who consumed the same amount of fats not hydrogenated.
In short, trans fats should never be consumed. Other fats need to balanced so the body can make proper use of them.
Still Be Diligent and check the nutrition facts and ingredients!
Choose your fats wisely and with GREAT CARE to ensure they have been minimally and safely processed, or better yet, not processed at all; and remember- healthy fats are not the enemy and healthy fats do not make you fat! Consume a wide variety of fats from whole oils to whole foods containing healthy fats.