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Trans Fats

(or Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils)


For decades, the food industry and its mouthpieces have been trying to demonise certain saturated fats and oils such as butter and coconut oil, while at the same time they have attempted to promote the wholesale consumption of cheap but nutritionally worthless grain oils and their derivatives, hydrogenated oils.

Hydrogenated (or ‘partially hydrogenated’) oils contain high levels of trans fats. A trans fat is a completely artificial and unnatural fatty acid that has been "transmogrified", by heat processing of a plant oil, usually in the presence of hydrogen plus a metal catalyst such as nickel. The fatty acids can become double-linked, cross-linked, bond-shifted, twisted, or messed up in a variety of other ways by this process, resulting in molecules that are never seen in nature, and which we have no way of processing metabolically. Trans fats are also created when ordinary ‘cooking oil’ (polyunsaturated vegetable oil) is heated, especially when kept heated over long periods, or repeatedly re-heated (as in fast food outlets):

Trans fats are literally poisons. They interfere with the metabolic processes of life by taking the place of natural substances that perform critical functions, and so prevent these critical functions being carried out properly. For example when trans fats become incorporated in the walls of new cells, those cells can leak their contents through their now-defective cell walls.

Your body has no defence 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 any ways to process them. Partially hydrogenated oils will not only kill you in the long term by producing degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and allergies, but in the meantime they will also make you fat!


Mary Enig, PhD - "One reason the polyunsaturates cause so many health problems is that they tend to become oxidized or rancid when subjected to heat, oxygen and moisture as in cooking and processing. Rancid oils are characterized by free radicals—that is, single atoms or clusters with an unpaired electron in an outer orbit.

These compounds are extremely reactive chemically. They have been characterized as "marauders" in the body for they attack cell membranes and red blood cells and cause damage in DNA/RNA strands, thus triggering mutations in tissue, blood vessels and skin.

Free radical damage to the skin causes wrinkles and premature aging; free radical damage to the tissues and organs sets the stage for tumors; free radical damage in the blood vessels initiates the buildup of plaque. Is it any wonder that tests and studies have repeatedly shown a high correlation between cancer and heart disease with the consumption of polyunsaturates?

New evidence links exposure to free radicals with premature aging, with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and with Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, Alzheimer's and cataracts. Vegetable oils are more toxic when heated. One study reported that polyunsaturates turn to varnish in the intestines. A study by a plastic surgeon found that women who consumed mostly vegetable oils had far more wrinkles than those who used traditional animal fats. A 1994 study appearing in the Lancet showed that almost three quarters of the fat in artery clogs is unsaturated." The Skinny on Fats



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