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Trans fat dangers

January 10, 2008 · 9 comments

You’ve all heard about the dangers of trans fats, but did you know that an ingredient label can say “zero trans fats“, but still have plenty of partially hydrogenated oils in it?

No real surprise

Artificial trans fats were originally thought to be a healthy alternative to saturated fats. Surprise surprise, the natural fat turned out to be healthier after all. (Think of what people have eaten for centuries – butter, eggs, whole milk, meat, etc. from their family farms!) Now it is widely accepted that partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (“trans fats“) have been strongly linked to a higher incidence of certain health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis, infertility, learning disabilities, and many others.

They hope we won’t look

Trans fats are highly processed and much cheaper than healthy fats, therefore I’m sure the food manufacturers were not happy when in January 2006 it began to be required for them to list it on their ingredient labels. However, they only have to state the amount if there is more than 0.5 grams per serving, so they can change their serving size and still list “zero trans fats” on the label!

Trans fats are listed as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the ingredient list, so the only way you really know if it’s in there is to…yep, read the label! (You’d be amazed how fast your eye gets at spotting that in the ingredient list!)

It’s much easier than it used to be

Not very many years ago, even in 2004 when I began eating healthier, the only way to avoid trans fats was to buy organic, and there weren’t many options – some didn’t taste great either. I’m very thankful that now it is MUCH easier to find foods (yummy ones too) without it and that it has become more widely recognized as the terribly unhealthy ingredient that it is.

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  • { 5 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Margaret Merkel September 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    My husband just bought peanut butter made with Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed, cottonseed and soybean) Whats the deal with this? Is fully hydrogenated oil just as dangerous as partially hydrogenated?

    Reply

    2 Margaret Merkel` September 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Would you please reply to me at this email – I goofed with my earlier message. margmerkel@comcast.net

    Reply

    3 KitchenKop September 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Hi Margaret,
    Fully hydrogenated oils aren’t a “trans fat”, but they are still harmful because they are a SUPER processed oil, which is never good for us. They are putting the oil through a process that totally changes it and makes it unnatural.

    Also, those 3 oils you mentioned are not fats I would use in my kitchen. I only use traditional fats like butter, tallow, lard, bacon grease, ghee, etc.
    Kelly

    Reply

    4 Margaret Merkel September 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I know that corn and soy are not good oils – I use butter, cocunut oil, lard and olive oil. Olive oil is o.k. right?

    Reply

    5 KitchenKop September 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Yep, I use olive oil! :)

    Reply

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