Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bad Fats

As you learned in a previous post, there is good fat and there is bad fat.  This post is all about bad fats, also known as trans fats, or trans fatty acids, and why they are so bad for you.

This is a good book that takes an in-depth  look at trans fats.

Bad Fats:
~all processed vegetable oils (canola, corn, soybean, etc but does not include olive oil) and
~vegetable shortening

Basically all hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils are trans fats.  So that includes pretty much all fast food, junk food, and most packaged/processed foods.  Newer margarines contain highly refined soybean and cottonseed oils instead of hydrogenated oils, but these aren't much better; they still cause health issues much the same as the trans fats.  (and nevermind the fact that they're  made from genetically modified organisms...)

Why Trans Fats are Bad For You
Besides having toxic metals and chemicals left behind from thy hydrogenation process, trans fats are terrible.  The consumption of trans fats causes inflammation in your body.  This inflammation leads to heart disease, clogged arteries, obesity, and cancer.

Bad Fats Make You Fat
Bad fats make you fat for several reasons:  first of all, they don't have ANY of the good qualities of good fats.  No CLA, no satiating qualities, no health benefits whatsoever.  So when you eat these fats, you're getting none of the benefits of good fats, and all of the penalties.  All calories taken in from bad fats get stored as fat.

Bad Fats are Highly Processed
Remember my post on butter and what I said about margarine?  Well, most processed oils are exactly the same - made from rancid oils, bleached, deodorized and dyed to make them appealing and edible.  Not only that, but all those major oils like soybean, corn, canola, cottonseed, etc...they're all made from GMOs.  And you know genetically modified organisms are bad, right?  And the pesticides...don't get me started.

If you don't know much about GMOs, read The GMO Trilogy or Seeds of Deception (or both) by Jeffrey M Smith.  There are a ton of useful websites about GMOs, too, like Greenpeace Canada (they call them GEs).  Bad bad bad stuff.  Avoid GMOs.

So in summary, bad fats are all of those processed vegetable oils, margarine, and shortening.  Likely all fast-food restaurants use vegetable oil for their deep fryers, in their ingredients, and so you can't avoid them if you eat out.  Pick your restaurants wisely; search out cooks who use lard and beef tallow and butter.  Eat non-processed foods.  Avoid junk food.  Good luck!

Edited to add: this post is a part of Real Food Wednesday!

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