Years ago I heard a doctor on TV tell the audience to go through all your cupboards and throw away anything with partially hydrogenated oils. At that time I had paid little or no attention to hydrogenated oils. If truth be told I knew nothing about hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. After hearing this doctor briefly describe the dangers of hydrogenated oils, I decided to check my cupboard for which foods contained it. I was shocked to discover how many products I would have to throw away had I heeded this doctor’s advice. Since I simply could not afford to throw away half my cupboard’s contents I decided to risk it until I did my research. Once I scoured the internet, I decided to not purchase packaged foods or baked goods which contained partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils.
What is hydrogenated oil?
When hydrogen is forced into oil at a high pressure the result is hydrogenated oil. The more hydrogenated the oil the more solid it becomes like Crisco or margarine. Hydrogenated oils have a higher melting point and are more stable so it also acts as a preservative. The production of hydrogenated oil changes the chemical structure of the oil. In the 90s, it was found that this change of chemical structure could have adverse reactions on health. During the process of converting fats and oils into a hydrogenated form, the healthy fat is converts into trans-fat. Trans-fat is very unhealthy for the body. Margarine is almost half trans-fat.
What are the health risks associated with hydrogenated oil?
I want to share with you a portion from Treelight.com’s article on this subject.
“”The problem with trans fats is that while the “business end” (the chemically active part) is messed up, the “anchor end” (the part that is attached to the cell wall) is unchanged. So they take up their position in the cell wall, like a guard on the fortress wall. But like a bad guard, they don’t do their job! They let foreign invaders pass unchallenged, and they stop supplies at the gates instead of letting them in.
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 it it did smell, it would smell worse than the most rancid butter you’ve ever seen. (And that goes for all refined oils, not just the hydrogenated ones. It’s just that hydrogenated oils are everywhere in the American diet.) So the next time you see “partially hydrogenated oil” on a label, think “rancid butter”. “”
I wanted to share this with you because it was one of the main reasons I became a believer in eliminating hydrogenated oils from my diet.
Other risks include:
A variety of auto immune diseases have been discovered since the introduction of hydrogenated oils in our foods.
A rise in cancer has been noted since the widespread use of hydrogenated oils.
A rise in heart disease has been noted since the widespread use of hydrogenated oils.
Partially hydrogenated oils slow your metabolism.
It interferes with your body’s ability to utilize good fats.