Nutrition & Dieting/partially hydrogenated oils
I would like to know how bad partially hydrogenated oils are. Sometimes it is hard to avoid them completely. Can a person eat a little of that stuff? And if so how much would be allowable? And is it true that fully hydrogenated oils are not as bad? Thank you.
Anything with the word hydrogenated translates to trans-fat. The brilliant food scientists take vegetable oil and infuse hydrogen into it and out comes a semi solid lipid substance.
You are right that they are hard to avoid. The fully hydrogenated version is "thought" to be safer but this boils down to a lesser of two evils. Kind of like saying is a $40.00 parking ticket better than a $100 speeding ticket?
While it is best to avoid them all together, getting some here and there won't necessarily hurt you. The greater majority of us no matter how clean we eat end up ingesting the stuff.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1% of your daily caloric intake come from trans fat.
What you can do to limit it though is be careful with your food choices.
You can do this two ways.
1. Read labels on everything. If the word hydrogenated shows up in the ingredients then consider passing on that food. You must read the ingredients though. Don't be fooled by claims of "No Trans Fats" on the label. The FDA says any ingredient that measures under 0.5 grams per serving can be listed as zero. The ingredients always tell the truth though.
When it comes to food without labels or ingredients, you're usually safe. The more processed a food is from its natural form, the more you should worry. This rule excludes baked goods and restaurant foods.
Another thing you can do is check into different grocery store's policies. For instance a chain of stores called Fresh & Easy has a policy that their store brand does not contain hydrogenated oils.
2. Consider the food itself. Things like fresh produce, meats, grains, and dairy is safe. The things to watch out for are foods that last forever. If the food would be great in a fallout shelter, its probably best to avoid. Hydrogenated oils are often used to preserve foods. You want foods that will spoil and go bad, not foods that have a ten year shelf life. The one exception may be cans since they are preserved by removing air as opposed to adding in preservatives. Still though READ THE INGREDIENTS.
Restaurant food, mainly fast food (and fried) is another thing to watch out for. If you can spare a few bucks and want to do a fun test, buy a fast food item, keep it in the bag and store it somewhere (not the fridge) for a week or two. I bet you that it will be a little dry looking, but none the less look a lot like the day it was bought.
I look at it like this...Trans fats are evil and should be outlawed. At the same time some of the not so good foods I enjoy contain them. It a matter of give and take. If you want a cheat day then those foods may be part of it. Just don't make those types of food a habit. And if you have any type of heart issues or cholesterol issues, seriously be on guard.