What's Wrong wtih Hydrogenated Oil?©

What's Wrong wtih Hydrogenated Oil?©

Hydrogenated oils are essentially refined and processed vegetable oils. They are the product of a lengthy process which culminates in the bubbling of hydrogen through the refined and deodorized oil at temperatures exceeding 200 C. The extreme heat causes the structure of the fat molecules to be altered such that oil that was originally liquid at room temperature is now solid or semi-solid. These altered, un-natural fatty acids are then called trans-fatty acids but they are more commonly known as shortening or margarine.

It is not at all safe to eat hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils even though they are found in all kinds of pre-packaged foods. Food manufacturers add hydrogenated oils to foods in order to preserve shelf life and produce a pleasing texture. They use these unhealthy fats because their healthier counterparts are a lot more expensive and have a much shorter shelf life.

Because the human body was created long before trans-fats were, it was not designed to process them. While we have very efficient mechanisms for handling normal fats, abnormal ones throw the body into a state of confusion and disorder. Healthy, unaltered fats normally serve a number of vital functions in the body. They are burned for long-term energy, and they are necessary components of the membrane surrounding every cell in the body. You make thousands of new cells every hour.

Trans-fats, however, don’t burn properly for fuel and don’t function properly in cell membranes. When fats don’t function correctly, the cell membrane’s ability to control what comes into and goes out of the cell is severely impaired, resulting in lowered immunity, impaired hormonal function, and early cell death. Because trans-fats are not recognized by the body as useful substances, the liver classifies them as toxic wastes and attempts to detoxify and eliminate them. This creates an unusual burden on the liver and gall bladder, which can lead to degeneration in those organs. The liver performs at least 500 distinct and critical functions in the body, so it pays large dividends to make sure it is not stressed.

Body chemistry requires many vitamins and minerals in order to digest and process foods to make energy or produce new body cells. These specific nutrients are normally contained in the foods we eat to keep a balance in the body between what we are using up and what we are taking in. Like all refined foods, however, hydrogenated oils have had all of their nutrients removed during processing. This lack of nutrients is the reason they keep so well on the shelf – nutrients spoil, motor oil doesn’t. When you eat refined food, your body has to use up vitamins and minerals from your own reserve supplies – leaving you with a deficiency that will negatively affect energy production and organ function.

According to a study reported by Mary Enig, Ph.D., “when monkeys were fed trans-fat containing margarine in their diets,...their red blood cells did not bind insulin as well as when they were not fed trans-fats. This suggests a link with diabetes. Trans-fatty acids have been linked with a variety of adverse health effects which include: cancer, ischemic heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diverticulitis, diabetes, and other degenerative conditions."

Where would you find hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils? Here is a partial list:

virtually all baking mixes and batters including cakes, muffins, and pancakes
all deep fried foods, including french fries, chicken nuggets, onion rings, popcorn shrimp, breaded fish or chicken
some cold cereals chips and crackers
microwaveable popcorn roasted / salted nuts
most candies all margarines and shortenings

Are there any good oils? Some fats are necessary for proper function and rebuilding of the body. Good sources include flax oil, extra virgin coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. For maximum benefit these oils should be consumed raw. Flax oil in particular should never be heated. Here are some substitution suggestions to help you on your way to health:

Instead of: Use:
Margarine butter, extra-virgin coconut oil
Shortening butter, extra-virgin coconut oil
Canola or soybean oils extra-virgin olive oil, flax oil

What can you safely do with a hydrogenated oil? Save it up for the next time you have a squeaky hinge, it works like magic!

Nutritional Health Education Center • 141 N. 3rd Street, Suite 5 • Danville, KY 40422
www.awesomehealthmakeover.com 859-236-3234
Dr. J.L. Fortner ND, Director

What's Wrong wtih Hydrogenated Oil?©