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Hydrogenated Oils.

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Introduction

Hydrogenated Oils Can vegetable oils harden your arteries? McDonald's, Burger king and the rest relay heavily on fatty acids to try their wares. This is not entirely bad. Fatty acids are the building blocks of dietary fats, an essential part of the human diet. Dieting fats contain a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fats carry a full quota of hydrogen atoms in their chemical structure, and unsaturated fats do not. Such products as tallow, lard and butter are saturated fats whereas those like Soybean, canola, olive, cottonseed, corn and other vegetable oils are unsaturated. Saturated fats are Associated with increase in LDL Cholesterol (the bad kind); unsaturated fats can bring that number down. By now, most Americans have learned this dietary rule of thumb: The saturated fats found mostly in meat, dairy products, and tropical oils increase the risk of coronary heart disease and possibly some cancers; Vegetable oils are better for your health.1 Responding to the new dietary consciousness, most fast-food chains and food manufacturers have switched from beef fat and tropical oils to vegetable oils, heralding the change with package labels like "Low in saturated fats," "no cholesterol," and "no tropical oils." ...read more.

Middle

Monounsaturated, the main fats in olive, canola, and peanut oil, tend to lower LDL, and some studies suggest that they may do so without depressing HDL. One other advantage is that monounsaturated apparently do not raise the risk of cancer. Trans-fat: Manufacturers create this fat when they force hydrogen through an ordinary vegetable oil. This "Partial hydrogenation" fills a few empty hydrogen spaces, converting some polyunsaturated to monounsaturated, and some monounsaturates to saturates. The process also flips some of the existing hydrogen atoms in the unsaturated fats in to a more sable configuration, known as trans that straightens and hardens the molecule, giving its properties of a saturated fat.1 What is Hydrogenation? Hydrogenation is the process of heating oil and passing hydrogen bubbles through it. The fatty acids in the oil then acquire some of the hydrogen, which makes it denser. If you fully hydrogenate you create a solid (a fat) out of the oil. But if you stop part way, you get a semi-solid partially hydrogenate, oil that has a consistency like butter, only it's a lot cheaper.3 What is wrong with hydrogenation? Unlike butter, hydrogenated oil contains high levels of trans-fat. A trans-fat is an otherwise normal fatty acid that has been "transmogrified" by high-heat processing of free oil. ...read more.

Conclusion

Research findings show that what's bad for your heart may also be bad for your bones. The problem stems from the hydrogenated vegetable oils (like margarine and shortening) often used to make baked goods and convenience foods. It turns out that hydrogenation, a process by which liquid vegetable oils are partially solidified, not only creates trans-Fats (which are bad for you heart) but also destroys the vitamin k naturally found in vegetable oils. Your bones need vitamin K, and vegetable oils are one of the most common dietary source. But as you consume more hydrogenated oils, you're eating less healthy oils and thus lowering your intake of vitamin K.2 In general limit your intake of commercial baked goods and fried foods, and consider the over all fat content of foods you buy. If a product is low in fat, the hydrogenated oils are likely to be less of a problem! Avoid the cholesterol raising fats such as margarine-fried fast foods, and packaged foods. Although there is no formal recommendation on the exact amount, nutritionists advise limiting trans-fat and saturated fat to about 10% or less of daily calories. So a person who eats 2000 calories a day should aim for no more that about 22 grams of these two fats. ...read more.

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