Trans Fat, Interesterified Fat & MSG—Oh My!

Horrible foods negatively affect your family’s health!

Following is information concerning some of the most horrible things found in our in food: Trans Fat, Interesterified Fat, and MSG. Because these ingredients are commonly found in processed and junk foods, children and even picky eaters frequently ingest them.

910365_french_fries_1.jpgTrans Fat

Trans fatty acid is created when the molecular structure of a vegetable oil is altered to a hardened form found in margarine or shortening. Because trans fat increases the shelf life of foods, it’s most commonly found in restaurant foods, fast foods (French fries, fried chicken, and chicken nuggets), snack food, packaged bakery products (cookies, crackers, donuts, and cakes), microwave popcorn, potato chips, peanut butters, and salad dressings.

In the United States, typical French fries have about 40 percent trans fat, and many cookies and crackers range from 30 to 50 percent trans fat. Doughnuts have approximately 35 percent trans fatty acids. A couple of the worst offenders are found in many kitchens—stick margarine and Crisco®.

Trans fat is far worse than natural saturated fat ever could be. The production process of injecting liquid fats with hydrogen gas converts them into indigestible trans fatty acids. Trans fat can’t be metabolized in the human body. In fact, trans fat has a half life of 51 days. That means three months after consuming trans fat, you’re body is still dealing with it.

Trans fat molecules are absorbed into your cells, compromising the cell’s metabolism. Trans fat lowers the HDL (good cholesterol) and increases the LDL (bad cholesterol), leading to heart disease. In pregnant women, trans fat, like alcohol, drugs, carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke, and pesticides, pass through the placenta to the baby, affecting the baby’s metabolism in direct proportion to the amount ingested by the mother. In addition, there’s a correlation between trans fat and Type 2 Diabetes. To make matters worse, trans fat inhibits the absorption of vitamin K (vital for bone growth). Trans fat is a toxin interfering with all membrane function.

Beware! Only with government math will zero plus zero equal more than zero. The labeling requirement has a loophole. Food products with trans fat above .05 grams per serving are required to be listed. Because you could be purchasing smaller amounts (and remember there’s no safe level) without realizing it, read the entire nutrition label.

If you see zero trans fat on the nutrition label, double check to see if there’s any hydrogenated vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated oils, shortening, and margarine listed. These are all trans fats.

Eating out can be more of a challenge than reading food labels. Unfortuantly, picky eaters love fast food! Five small chicken nuggets from a fast food chain may contain between two and four grams of trans fat. A large order (six ounces) of McDonald’s® French fries contains a whopping eight grams of trans fat!

Intersterified Fat

Wouldn’t you know it, just as we’re eliminating trans fats, up pops a new one. Believe it or not, this one is even more dangerous to your health. Interesterifed fats are like trans fats raising the blood levels of the “bad” LDL cholesterol. At the same time, lowering the “good” HDL cholesterol levels.

According to the January 2007 journal Nutrition & Metabolism, interesterified fats not only negatively affect the cholesterol levels, but also negatively affect blood sugar levels!

Yet, the Food and Drug Administration has given the go ahead to food companies and restaurants. Avoid any food product with interesterified soybean oil, interesterified vegetable oil, fully hydrogenated oil, high in steric acid, or stearate rich on food labels.

Frying food at high temperatures destroys most of what’s beneficial in food, regardless of what fat is used. Food services usually use the same oils for cooking fish, chicken, and other foods as they do fries. As a rule, it’s best to avoid all fried foods (especially chicken and French fries) when eating out, as these are most likely fried in a hydrogenated oil—a trans fat and now interesterified fat.

At home, throw out any trans fats, such as Crisco® and stick margarine. Use natural cold-pressed fats such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and butter instead.

MSG

MSG was first added to processed foods in the United States in 1948. Processing and long shelf life decreases the flavor of foods. MSG is a flavor enhancer. This is a benefit when transitioning people from food prepared in their home kitchens to the convenience of canned foods and fast foods. As you would think, MSG has been added to many, if not most, processed foods. MSG is even a common ingredient in fast food French fries, because it gives food that extra pop in taste. But it’s really flavored poison.

MSG is an excitatory neuro-transmitter or “excitotoxin.” Excitotoxins are chemical transmitters allowing brain cells to communicate. Unfortunately, excitotoxins over-stimulate your brain cells and they die. It’s a toxic substance. As you would guess, children are most at risk from ingesting MSG. It can pass the blood brain barrier and even the placental barrier, affecting unborn children.

MSG has been linked to Anxiety (Panic) Attacks, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and AHDD), allergies, blindness, brain damage, cloudy thinking, migraines, neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, rage, and stroke.

You can cut the time in reading labels if you look for a few key words: Flavoring, Hydrolyzed, and Extract. These words are meant to sound nutritious, but are in fact hiding MSG as an ingredient.

Common ingredients which contain MSG:
Bouillon (chicken and beef)
Broth flavoring
Gelatin
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Yeast Extract
Malted Barley
Malt Extract
Rice Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Extract
Malt flavoring
Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Texturized Protein
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Calcium Caseinate
Natural Flavoring/Seasonings

Flintstone’s vitamins for children show that they contain some of the following substances (depending on variety): Artificial flavors and three different types of food dye, glucose syrup, gelatin and modified starch (which both typically contain MSG), the neurotoxin aspartame, and hydrogenated oils.

Read More on MSG.

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7 thoughts on “Trans Fat, Interesterified Fat & MSG—Oh My!

  1. Pingback: BabyBites.info – Transforming a picky eater into a healthy eater.» Nonna's Nutrition News & Views » Monosodium Gultamate Dangers

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  3. JaB says:

    Um…FDA says “There is no evidence in the available information on L-glutamic acid, L-glutamic acid hydrochloride, monosodium L-glutamate, monoammonium L-glutamate, and monopotassium L-glutamate that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspects, a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current and in the manner now practices. However, it is not possible to determine, without additional data, whether a significant increase in consumption would constitute a dietary hazard.”

    So…as long as you aren’t overdoing it like the guy in Supersize Me you should be fine.

    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/fcnDetailNavigation.cfm?rpt=scogsListing&id=217

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