Posted by: molander | January 1, 2010

Hydrogenated Fats

From the Avoid At All Cost List

1. Hydrogenated fat is where we get the “trans fats” we hear about in the news.

2. Purpose of the stuff is to allow foods like chips, crackers, cookies, pies and bread to sit on the shelf forever and still retain their “freshness.”

3. Why it’s bad:

xxxxx a. Messes with your cholesterol
xxxxx b. Shrinks the size of LDL particles making them more likely to clot
xxxxx c. Dramatically raises your risk of heart attack (Just 2% increase in trans-fatty acids increase chance for heart disease by 23%!
xxxxx d. New England Journal of Medicine review of more than EIGHTY studies found:
xxxxxxxx i. More dangerous to health than any other food contaminant EVEN if it’s only 1-3% of your total calorie intake!
xxxxxxxx ii. 20-60 calories of trans fats start damaging health!! (A couple “trans fat free” cookies or crackers and you’re past the safe mark!)

4. Likely culprits: Any food with the word “hydrogenated” in the ingredients list EVEN if it clearly states “No Trans Fats” on the label!

Scary: Government allows you to say it has no trans fats if there is less than .5 grams per serving size. So… manufacturers reduce the serving size until the numbers look right. Problem is: the trans fat is still there and there is NO SAFE AMOUNT of this stuff!

You’ll find hydrogenated fats in these common items:

Cake mixes, biscuit, pancake and cornbread mixes, frostings
Cakes, cookies, muffins, pies, donuts
Crackers
Peanut butter (except organic and/or fresh-ground)
Frozen entrees and meals
Frozen bakery products, toaster pastries, waffles, pancakes
Most prepared frozen meats and fish (such as fish sticks)
French fries
Whipped toppings
Margarines, shortening
Instant mashed potatoes
Taco shells
Cocoa mix
Microwave popcorn
Breakfast cereals
Corn chips, potato chips
Frozen pizza, frozen burritos, most frozen snack foods
Low-fat ice creams
Noodle soup cups
Bread
Pasta mixes
Sauce mixes

The good news is that there are healthier versions of the above items and I’m currently working on a list to share on the blog. In the meantime, refer to this general list of brands that don’t use items from the Avoid At All Cost List.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Avoid At All Cost items are either non-foods or foods modified so extremely that they have become harmful to the body. The clearest (and most concise-yet-comprehensive) list I can find on this subject is in Jillian Micheals’ book Master Your Metabolism so that’s what I’m using for reference in this series. Learn about other items on the Avoid At All Costs List at the right. Hydrogenated Fats
Refined Grains
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial Preservatives, Colors, Flavoring
Glutamates

xxxxx

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