Friday, July 8, 2011

Avoid Hydrogenated Oils! You have to read the labels...

You know - you really ARE what you EAT!  We are comprised of trillions (lots) of cells. They all need the same thing to live, and guess what - it happens at the cellular level.  Vitamins, minerals, fats, simple sugar.  Did you ever stop to think that what you eat gets broken down to the most basic level and fed to your body, on the inside?  I'm fascinated by the biochemistry that goes on inside us, and it really makes me think about what society considers worth eating.  Why would you put junk inside you if you knew it was bad for you?  Why?

Why is this junk created, researched, marketed, and promoted to the unsuspecting public?  Profit! These companies need to make money to stay in business.  Coca Cola, Nabisco, Campbells (they still put MSG in their soups, and that's another blog post coming up).  We crave what is bad for us, fat, sugar, alcohol? Isn't that weird?  So, these junk food producers are catering to our cravings.  Guess what else? This junk has to get transported distances, and then sit on the shelf until you buy it, and then sit on your shelf till you eat it. Hydrogenated oils prolong shelf life...

Avoiding Hydrogenation

When you start reading food labels, it is astonishing how many products you will find that contain partially hydrogenated oils. In the chips aisle, there are maybe two brands that don't. Then there are the cookies and crackers. Most every single one does. About the only cookie that doesn't is Paul Neuman's fig newtons. Among peanut butters, the all-natural brands don't. Ever wonder why the oil never separates out of the cheaper brands? They are LOADED with hydrogenated oil to keep the oil from separating. “Choosey mothers choose Jiff!” Really?  Wow!!!

The more labels you read, the more surprised 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.

And it's not just partially hydrogenated oils, anymore...
What's going to happen when consumers begin to become aware of the dangers of partially hydrogenated oils? Are manufacturers going to stop using it? Unfortunately, no. They would probably just give it a new name. Well, it appears that the worst may have come to pass. Manufacturers are now using mono- and di-glycerides--which are also hydrogenated oil products.

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). One more thing, the FDA permits food companies to say 0% trans fats on the packaging.  Really?  Then why are hydrogenated oils in the list of ingredients?...drum roll...becuase if it's below a certain percent, they can lie!  Go look at tortillas next time you're shopping.  I can't find one company that doesn't use them.  Every now and then, I do, and they are usually the whole wheat ones.

The Legal Outlook
With any luck, the first lawsuits against "food" producers will begin in the next 10-20 years. The scientific knowledge has been available since the early 1990's, at least, so there is no doubt they are fully aware of what they are doing. They have been ignoring the health effects for the sake of profit. Such behavior is both unethical and immoral. With luck, some day it will be illegal, as well.

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