Hip, Hip, Hooray! Trans Fat Being Removed

Party Time
katelynparty.jpgCause for celebration: I read this in yesterday’s morning paper, “Unilever spreads to lose trans fats.” YIPEE! I was rejoicing when the article stated, “Unilever, which sells more tubs of soft margarine spread than anyone, will unveil today plans to remove (Yes, it said REMOVE.) all partially hydrogenated oils—artificial trans fats—from its soft-spread brands including I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Shedd’s Spread Country Crock.”

This change is to begin in August. YEA! Consumer backlash, refusing to purchase even .5 grams of trans fat was instrumental in its removal. That’s the American way. Supply in demand. Capitalism at it’s best. Whoopee.

Trans fats has been found to cause a host of health problems as they:

>Raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels

>Are believed to contribute to auto-immune disease, cancer, heart disease, fertility problems, and bone degeneration

>Inhibit insulin receptors in your cell membranes and cause type 2 diabetes, characterized by high levels of insulin and glucose in your blood.

Katelyn celebrates her first birthday with cake, although this cake is trans and interesterified fat free and free from artificial flavors and colors.

Party Pooper
Just as I was getting ready to do a happy dance around the kitchen table, I came to the next to last paragraph, “Unilever will replace the partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) with a mixture of palm oil and interesterified fat.”

13202_colored_balloons.jpgPOP…You could hear my illusions (that this would be a healthy change) bursting. Interesterified fats have been an ingredient in foods in the U.S. since the 1950s. They were introduced in Europe in the 1920s. Interesterified fats have recently become widespread as a substitute for partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) in the U.S. A package may boast “No trans fat”, but it’s hard to purchase crackers or bakery products without interesterified fats.

Interesterified fats are chemically altered fats. They are hydrogenated and then rearranged on a molecular level. Although technically not the same as partially hydrogenated oils, the unnatural manipulation of lipid molecules in interesterified fats raises the very same health concerns as trans fats.

Research findings published in Nutrition and Metabolism confirmed previous studies indicating that interesterified fats also negatively affect LDL and HDL cholesterol, although weaker than trans fat.

We’re No Better Off
Ah, but there is another concern about the effect interesterified fat has on blood sugar levels of healthy people. Studies found that interesterified fat raises blood glucose levels by 20 percent within a month! This is MUCH WORSE than trans fat. We’re not any better off, in fact we’re worse off. We’re jumping from the frying pan into the fire, as most people are unaware of the dangers of interesterified fats. Interesterified fats come in many disguises. On nutrition lables look for high stearate or stearic rich fats these are interesterified fats as well.

Don’t be fooled into believing the “No Trans Fat” claim on the package means a healthier product. Read labels and REFUSE TO PURCHASE interesterified fats, as they’re worse than the trans fats they are replacing…that’s the American way.  Supply in demand. Capitalism at it’s best. Whoopee.

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