Hydrogenated oils are found in a very large portion of products. These oils are found in margarine, salad dressing, peanut butter, ice cream, shortening(which is in cakes, cookies, and crackers),nondairy coffee creamer, frozen pizza, popcorn, potato, corn and tortilla chips. Any fried food you eat you can bet is soaked in hydrogenated oil like french fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts.
What is hydrogenated oil?
It is a process whereby companies add hydrogen to vegetable oils. Hydrogenation gas is fused into the oils using a metal catalyst like aluminum, cobalt, and nickel (toxic metals to the body). The oils are changed on a molecular level and change the essential fatty acid in the oil into what is known as trans fat (dangerous to your health).
The main reason oils are hydrogenated is that the hydrogenation of the oils act as a preservative. This leads to increased shelf life of products and less returns or spoilage of products.
What are the dangers?
Studies show that these deadly oils cause type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, breast cancer, other types of cancers and auto immune diseases. Also, trans fat lowers the lipoprotein (HDL) the good cholesterol and raises the lipoprotein LDL which is the bad cholesterol. Build up of plaque in the arteries results in atherosclerosis and plaque is partially made from bad cholesterol.
Food labels can say that there is zero trans fat in a product even if it contains up to 1/2 a gram of trans fat PER SERVING. So if you consume a product with 6 servings at 0.5 grams a serving you are actually consuming 3 grams of trans fat while thinking you are consuming zero!
Since the public outcry against trans fat has been so great, the FDA recently ordered all companies within 3 years to stop the use of partially-hydrogenated oils. Fully hydrogenated oils contain no trans fat so it is viewed as healthier, but that is simply not true. First of all, fully hydrogenated oil cannot be used for the same products because it turns solid. It needs to be mixed with other oils (made from GMOs) that are not healthy. In addition to that, fully hydrogenated oil still contains toxic metals like aluminum and it is heated to a high temperature creating a cancer causing substance called acrylamide.
To counter act the public outcry against trans fat and hydrogenated oils, companies began seeking alternatives. Interesterified fats are one example, which are actually proving to be WORSE than trans fat! Foods with ingredients like “stearic rich” or “high stearate” are just other names for interesterified fats. Hydrogenated oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil can also hide this ingredient as well.
Yet another strategy companies have come up with to avoid the lockdown on trans fat is using mono and diglycerides. These ingredients are a byproduct of vegetable oil processing and contain trans fat, yet they are not required to be labeled as containing trans fat as long as it doesn’t come from triglycerides! Mono and diglycerides act as such a “good” preservative that a video came out showing how an ice cream sandwich from Wal-Mart didn’t melt after sitting outside on an 80 degree day for over an hour!
They are pulling a bait and switch and Americans still face the same if not worse health risks from these ingredients.