Trans fat vs Hydrogenated Fat
Trans fat (trans fatty acids) is a very unhealthy kind of fat, even more unhealthy than saturated fats. When oils and margarines have been hydrogenated, a certain amount of the bad trans fat is introduced.
Hydrogenation became popular in North America because this type of oil doesn’t spoil or become rancid as readily as regular oil; therefore it has a longer shelf life. You can leave a cube of margarine sitting out for years and it will not be touched by moulds, insects, or rodents. Margarine is a non-food! It would appear that only humans are foolish enough to eat it! Because the fats in margarine are partially hydrogenated (not fully saturated), the manufactures can claim it is “polyunsaturated” and market it as a healthy food.
No, partially hydrogenated oil is not the same as trans fat. However, hydrogenated oils contain a certain amount of trans fats. The term, “Partially Hydrogenated” means that hydrogen gas has been added into the oil to increase its degree of saturation and thereby its shelf life. This hydrogenation process causes chemical changes to occur in the oil, one of which is the creation oftrans fat. Some people may get about 20 grams of trans fat per day, coming from purchased hydrogenated oils. The amount of trans fat coming from natural foods is quite small. Food labels often claim “Zero grams of trans fat” even when there is hydrogenated oil in the product, because a product is in many countries legally considered “trans fat free” if the amount of trans fat is less than 0.5 grams per serving size! Large amounts of trans fats are definitely harmful to our health, and processed products containing hydrogenated oils are not what you should be consuming.
Health authorities worldwide recommend that consumption of trans fat be reduced to trace amounts, because the consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Side Effects of Trans Fat:
- Since trans fat doesn’t occur much in nature, our bodies don’t know how to deal with it effectively. They act as poisons to crucial cellular reactions.
- The body tries to use them as it would the essential fatty acids, and they wind up in cell membranes and other places they shouldn’t be.Try a healthy alternative such as hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) which are the only natural food concentrated with all of the required proteins and essential fats. They contain many vitamins and enzymes, and only small insignificant quantities of saturated fats and carbohydrates.
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- In recent years, measurements of trans fats in the membranes of human red blood cells have been as high as 20%, when the figure should be 0%.
- The measurements were taken from human red blood cells as they are easy to access. It is safe to assume that most other cell membranes in the body also contain these unnatural fats.
- trans fatty acids in cell membranes weaken the membrane’s protective structure and function.
- This alters the normal transport of minerals and other nutrients across the membrane, and allows disease microbes and toxic chemicals to get into the cell more easily.
- The result:
- sickened, weak cells
- poor organ function
- exhausted immune system
- trans fats can also derail the body’s normal mechanisms for eliminating cholesterol. trans fats block the normal conversion of cholesterol in the liver and contribute to elevated cholesterol in the blood.
- trans fats cause an increase in the amount of low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
- trans fats lower the amount of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) that help protect the cardiovascular system from the adverse effects of the LDLs.
- trans fats also increase the level of apolipoprotein A, a substance in the blood, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
- trans fats enhance the body’s pro-inflammatory hormones (prostaglandin E2) and inhibit the anti-inflammatory types (prostaglandin E1 and E3)
- This undesirable influence exerted by trans fats on prostaglandin balance may render you more vulnerable to inflammatory conditions that don’t want to heal.
- Prostaglandin also regulates many metabolic functions.
- Tiny amounts can cause significant changes in:
- Allergic reactions
- Blood pressure and clotting
- Cholesterol levels
- Hormone activity
- Immune functions
- Inflammatory response
SIDE EFFECTS OF HYDROGENATED FAT:
- Residue of toxic metals, usually nickel and aluminum, are left behind in the finished product.
- These metals are used as catalysts in the reaction, but they accumulate in our cells and nervous system where they:
- Poison enzyme systems
- Alter cellular functions
- Endanger our health
- Cause a wide variety of problems
- These toxic metals are difficult to eliminate without special detoxification techniques.
- Our toxic load increases steadily with small exposures over time. A cumulative dose can add up to dangerous levels over time. For example:
- Eating hydrogenated fats will not immediately kill us, and so it seems harmless.
- Our body copes with the toxic substances.
- But over 10,20, or 30 years, our cells accumulate altered and toxic products for which they have not evolved efficient detoxifying mechanisms.
- The altered toxic substances interfere with our body’s life chemistry.
- Cells then degenerate, and these degenerative processes manifest as degenerative diseases.
- When the process of hydrogenation is not brought to completion, a product containing many (dozens) intermediate substances results.
- Partial hydrogenation produces margarines, shortenings, shortening oils, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- These products contain large quantities of trans fatty acids and other altered substances.
HOW TRANS FAT AFFECT WEIGHT LOSS:
- trans fat has a detrimental effect on energy, metabolism, fat, and essential fatty acid metabolism.
- trans fat increases blood insulin in response to glucose. Trans fat keeps the circulating insulin levels higher for a longer time – eventually contributing to insulin resistance.
- trans fat alter the size, number, and fatty acid composition of adipose (fat) cells. Adipose fat cells are found in the butt, hips, back, and belly.
The average consumer uses 4 gallons a year of refined oils, 25-50% of which are trans fat. This means that you are taking into your body 1-2 gallons of an extremely toxic chemical. When observed under a microscope, a hydrogenated fat molecule looks similar to a plastic molecule. Lipid chemists actually talk about plasticizing oils. Ironically, in terms of saturation, there is little difference between hydrogenated oils such as those found in margarine and the animal fats they are meant to replace.
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You may be surprised to discover how many products contain trans fat. Be sure to read the labels on packaged foods and avoid those with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.