Transitioning From Trans Fats
Leave it to us humans to take something that Mother Nature made and transform it into a poison! Unsaturated fats occur naturally in avocados, nuts, olive oil, and the like. Theyre good fats. Then there are the man-made, Frankensteinian trans fats or trans-unsaturated fatty acids, the by-products of fatty acid saturation.
The Industry Of Dietary Deception
The Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s triggered the toxic evolution of processed foods. Food scientists experimented with the process of adding hydrogen to food oils. Gradually, American homemakers replaced lard, butterfat, and other animal fats [which contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fats] with margarine and shortening. Remember Crisco?
For the food scientists, the reasoning was simple - diabolical, but simple: food manufacturers wanted to make foods more palatable and portable, and to prolong their shelf life.
Margarine, processed vegetable oils, and shortenings were a boon to the fast food industry, and the manufacturers of potato chips, French fries, doughnuts, pies, cookies, cakes, and other pre-packaged snack foods and baked goods. Its even in coffee creamer!
It was a Utopian ideal among food manufacturers: to make immortal foods for mortal men. Remember that ever fresh 700-year-old Twinkie in the movie Wall-E? Hydrogenating the fats put into processed foods made the food taste better, and last longer. But at what cost to the public health?
Trans fats have made a major contribution to the coffers of the food processing kings, and theyve also contributed to the increased incidence of coronary disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic ailments. In the mid-1990s more than 20,000 Americans died of heart diseases that were directly attributable to diets full of trans fats.
And they can not only raise your level of bad cholesterol, they can also reduce your level of good cholesterol. Trans fats contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, and the onset of diabetes. Equally alarming is that trans fats migrate and permeate mothers milk - so even infants can start out with this toxic goop in their tiny, fragile systems.
Not Generally Recognized As Safe
This bland declaration about trans fats was made by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] in 2013 - finally conceding the obvious: that thousands of lives could be saved each year by eliminating this dietary poison. Only this summer did the FDA finally sanction the removal of trans fat from processed foods over the next three years.