Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fat...Part 2

Good fat??

The first thing to understand about fats is that the essential fatty acids they contain are truly essential. They are the "active ingredient" in every bodily process you can name, including:

*brain cell function and nervous system activity
*hormones and intra-cellular messengers
*glandular function and immune system operation
*hemoglobin oxygen-transport system
*cell wall function:
*passing oxygen into the cell
*passing nutrients into the cell
*keeping foreign bodies out of the cell
*digestive-tract operation
*assimilating nutrients
*blocking out allergens

In short, the essential fatty acids (contained mostly in polyunsaturated oils) are the most important nutrients there are -- more important than vitamins, minerals, or even proteins. Because, without them, there is no life. They are the substance and foundation of life energy. Partially hydrogenated oils will not only kill you in the long term by producing diseases like multiple sclerosis and allergies that lead to arthritis, but in the meantime they will make you fat!

Partially-Hydrogenated=Totally Nasty

What's Wrong with Hydrogenation?

Unlike butter or virgin coconut oil, hydrogenated oils contain high levels of trans fats. A trans fat is an otherwise normal fatty acid that has been "transmogrified", by high-heat processing of a free oil. The fatty acids can be double-linked, cross-linked, bond-shifted, twisted, or messed up in a variety of other ways. In short, trans fats are poisons, just like arsenic or cyanide. They interfere with the metabolic processes of life by taking the place of a natural substance that performs a critical function. And that is the definition of a poison. Your body has no defense against them, because they never even existed in our two billion years of evolution -- so we've never had the need or the opportunity to evolve a defense against them.

But the worst part is that in the last stages of oil processing (or "refining"), the oil is literally steam distilled to remove its odor. So it doesn't smell. But a hydrogenated oil is much worse than rancid butter. So if it did smell, it would smell worse than the most rancid butter you've ever seen. So the next time you see "partially hydrogenated oil" on a label, think "rancid butter". Partially hydrogenated oils make you gain weight the same way that saturated fats do - by making you consume even more fat to get the the essential fatty acids you need. But partially hydrogenated fats are even worse. Not only do they produce disease over they long term, but they interfere with the body's ability to ingest and utilize the good fats!

Walking down supermarket aisles in America, you find product after product with partially hydrogenated oil--often in products you would never expect. But why not? After all, it's cheaper than butter. And it's not illegal. Yet. When you eat out, restaurant breads and fried foods are loaded with stuff. If you are consuming lots of saturated fats, you really have no choice but to become fat, because saturated fats contain only small quantities of the polyunsaturated fats that contain the essential fatty acids you need. The key to being thin, then, is to consume foods containing large amounts of polyunsaturated oils. (Those foods include fish, olives, nuts, and egg yolks.) Over the long term, those foods remove your sense of hunger.

Avoiding Hydrogenation

When you start reading food labels, it is astonishing how many products you will find that contain partially hydrogenated oils. The more labels you read, the more astonished you will be at the variety and number of places that this insidious little killer shows up. Do read the labels. Do recoil in disgust, and do throw the product back on the shelf -- or throw it on the floor, where it belongs. Even better, you could fry with coconut oil -- which consists of medium chain fatty acids that contain 2/3's the calories of long-chain saturated fats. They're also metabolized differently, so they're burned for energy instead of being stored as fat. And if that's not enough, 50% of coconut oil consists of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that's anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungus, and anti-yeast.

What You Can Do

For starters, read food labels and avoid anything that contains the words "hydrogenated". That means partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils, or anything of that kind (and mono-diglycerides, as well). A new FDA regulation took effect in 2006 that requires manufacturers to list the amount of trans fats on their product labels. Much as I would like to tell you that you can simply look for "0% trans fats" on the label, it would be useless for you to do so. The FDA wanted to put the words, "Warning: Trans fats may be dangerous to your health" on the labels--the same warning that first appeared on cigarettes--but the industry wouldn't let them. And the way the labeling law works, the product can contain a significant percentage of trans fat, and still claim "0%". Simply put, the labeling law is nearly useless.

When you see a food that contains partially hydrogenated oils (especially if it claims to be healthy), put it back on the shelf upside down and backwards. Sometimes it's impossible to put things back upside down, so at least put them on the shelf backwards. If you are saying to yourself, "hmmm, I've been wondering about trans fats... good, that's a start. In this world of pollution, Genetically Modified Food, and stress, do yourself a favor and start reading labels and find out exactly what you're putting in your body! Here's to your good health!

For more information on trans fats check out these informational websites:

No comments:

Post a Comment