Trans Fat - Enemy # 1

October 15, 2014


We Americans are a fickle sort. Whatever the media tells us is the “new and improved” or the “up and coming” and “get it now so you can keep up with the Jones”, we sca-daddle right to the nearest retailer to get our share. Heaven sake we be thought of as ‘out of touch’ or ‘behind the eight ball’. 
You get my point.


So what is the buzz about coconut oil and when did TRANS FAT become enemy #1?


Trans fats are unsaturated fats that were created in a science lab to give commercial foods a longer shelf life. It helps the food keep the food ‘stable’ from the manufacturing plant to grocery shelves. The biggest offender is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (PHVO). If a food is in a box or bag and sitting on the shelf, it probably has PHVO. This insidious adulteration of oil actually raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol and triglycerides.


Although it is technically listed as an ‘unsaturated fat’, the good type of fat, it is a chemical that our bodies do not recognize and therefore the body must get it out of the system by storing it in our fat cells.


Here is the horrific part. The FDA has indeed deemed trans fats as damaging to our health. They have thus strong-armed manufacturers into reducing and eliminating trans fats, like they did to Kentucky Fried Chicken. However, because the food manufacturing lobbyists are so persuasive on Capital Hill, the manufacturers can claim on nutrition labels to be 0% trans fat as long as they remain under .05% per serving. So it is NOT 0%.


I know this is confusing. I had to read these facts over and over to understand them. Read this a few times so it sinks in and you understand what is being done to our food supply.


So how do we know if the food is truly 0% trans fat? First sign is it comes in a box or bag. If it sits on a shelf and has an expiration date, it probably has PHVO. But to be sure read the ingredient label. If it has any type of oil in it other than olive, avocado or coconut, it is trans fat. .05% sound so insignificant but over many years it adds up.

I liken it to a story I heard of a teenager convincing his mother that he only had a few beers and that a little alcohol is not going to hurt him. The next day the mother made brownies for her son and his friends. As the boys ate them heartily, the mother said, "I put a little dog poop in it." The boys cried out in disgust, "OH GROSS!" The mother calmly replied, "It's only a little, it wont hurt you."


A little does make a difference.


Let's make wise choices daily. Don't believe what is proclaimed on the front of the foods we buy. The manufacturers are masters of deceit. They pay big money for celebrity spokesmen to sing the praises of their product. If an athlete drinks it, if a hiker eats it, if a super model stays slim with it, then by golly it must be gospel truth!


We are smarter than this. America has a great education system that taught us how to read and think for ourselves. If you need any assistance in navigating thru the grocery store and reading nutrition labels, as always, I am here to help.

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