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Sunday, January 8, 2012

What is Hydrogenated Fat? It's danger & Where can you find them...

Heard of this? Well, in today's world I bet every one of us had had an encounter with this term. Hydrogenated fat. As simple as it's name is, it means fat that is hydrogenated. Also known as Trans fat. Whatever it is called, it isn't doing any any good to your body.
To produce it , hydrogen molecules are pumped into the fat(veggie oil).I won't go detail into it's chemistry and such, let's just keep it simple. When hydrogen and a high temperature forced upon oil (liquid form, that is) with a possibly presence of a catalyst (platinum/nickel) , a product is produced, from liquid it is now a solid material, however it is no longer a natural thing. It is no longer a natural fat.It is now a trans fat, trans fatty acid. And as we all know trans fat are bad fats.They are plastic fats, plastic, i repeat. Unknown to the body's digestive system and is hardly digested. Imagine that!



Let's look into why these fats are pumped with hydrogen in the first place.
For a longer shelf life, this does not means well. Remember what's natural and safe for consumption is something that is biodegradable, that would rot and wear off . A longer shelf life benefits the industrial growth but not our health. Look also for these in your ingredients list : hydrogenated vegetable oil,  partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, margarine. Interesting isn't it? Hydrogenated fats comes from veggie oil, yup. Not animal fats, vegetable fats they are.
Animal fats are already in solid form by nature, vegetable oils are liquid. And even how better vegetable oil is for our diet (e.g : olive oil, sunflower oil, palm oil..),they are worse than animal fats when they transform into a different kind of fat, in this case through heating & hydrogenation.

Are food corporations being irresponsible for this? No comments. They're probably busy with keeping their products long-lasting and counting the cash-ins and forgot about consumer's health. One thing for sure, fast food are obviously abundant with trans fat.

Danger of Trans fatty acids

Let's look at the danger of trans fats. They are responsible for the causing various degenerative chronic diseases including :-
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Birth defects
  • Cancer
  • Mal-absorption of nutrients 
  • Breakdown of cell wall structures , organs and tissues of the body, including nervous system tissues, spinal cords and the eyes.  

Where can you find trans fat?

Don't  be surprised, but our grocery list maybe overloaded with foods that contain these plastic indigestible fats. Here are some of the consumables that contains trans fat:-
  • Cakes & biscuits
  • Confectionery
  • Fast foods (Usually solidified vegetable oil is used for frying, as it may cost less on the budget)
  • Canola / rapeseed oil
  • Dairy Products
  • Whatever that is processed - be it breakfast cereals, granola bars, oat bars or how healthy the bar sounds, it has gone through processing so do check the ingredients. (EVEN WHEN TRANS FAT: 0...you should take precautions..)
  • Chips
  • Salad dressings
Here's a statement from the FDA:


"Consumers can know if a food contains trans fat by looking at the ingredient list on the food label. If the ingredient list includes the words "shortening," "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" or "hydrogenated vegetable oil," the food contains trans fat."
So, even if the label clearly states "Trans Fat: 0 grams," and even if the product goes an extra step to print "0g of Trans Fat" somewhere on the front of it, if you see any of the above words in the ingredients, then it contains at least some trans fat per serving. (Credits: http://www.acaloriecounter.com)


What you can do

  • For starters you can convert to virgin coconut oil for cooking & virgin olive oil as salad dressings.
  • Use butter for spreads instead of margarine.
  • Try to avoid fried foods, at home or when eating out.
  • Partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list? - a no, no in your grocery list.
  • Cut down on baked goods,  this includes cookies & doughnuts. 
That's all for now..hope to write up more on this in the future..got to do more reading then..tank you for reading, have a great day & have less of trans fat today.

1 comment:

child anxiety treatment said...

It's good to learn about this hydrogenated fat. Through this post, my awareness has increased.


Raquel

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