If there is only one thing you do for your health -- and your weight -- it should be this: Give up partially hydrogenated oils, and boycott any products that contain them -- not only for yourself, but for the positive impact it will have on everyone's health and weight problems.
Partially hydrogenated oils may well be the number one cause of obesity and degenerative disease in society today, due to the high levels of bio-destructive trans fats they contain. Listen to what the experts say:
The science is clear, and has been known for more than a decade now. But, like the tobacco companies, many of the large commercial food producers will give you short term satisfaction, as long as you're willing to pay, regardless of the long term consequences. By eliminating partially hydrogenated oils from your diet, you will not only make dramatic improvements in your health profile, you will also be sending a clear economic message to the food producers in this country (the only message they seem to care about).
In the hydrogenation process, hydrogen gas is bubbled through vegetable oils at very high temperatures. The result is a semi-solid fat with the texture and consistency of butter, only much cheaper, which accounts for its popularity in industries that are more concerned with profit than with the health of the consumer. Partially hydrogenated oils are used in many bakery products, including bread and cookies. It is also used in many dairy substitutes and some candies. They can sneak in anywhere flavor and texture are desired, including some soups and other products where you would least expect it.
The hydrogenation process produces "trans fats" which are, quite literally, metabolic poisons. The trans fats interfere with cellular function, and prevent our bodies from acquiring the essential fatty acids that are so critical for health.
Here's what happens:
The chemically active part of fatty acid molecules are warped by the high heat processing. It's the chemically active end of the molecule that transports oxygen and nutrients through the cell walls. They are also responsible for nerve system impulses, hormone activity, and brain function. But the chemically inactive portion is unchanged -- and that is the part that is attached to the cell wall. In nature, fats occur only in very specific configurations. Millions of years of evolution have left the body unprepared to recognize and eliminate trans fats, because they never existed in any significant quantity, until now. Trans fats, like a low-level cyanide, act as metabolic poisons, becoming part of, and interfering with, natural bodily functions.
Here is a partial list of the diseases and degenerative conditions that trans fats are likely to be implicated in: allergies, asthma, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, cancer, candida, chronic fatigue, diabetes, eczema, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, obesity, Parkinson's disease, psoriasis, ulcers....
The fact is, we need Surgeon General Everett Koop, who spearheaded the attack on tobacco. Unlike many in government, he went where the science led and was undissuaded by other influences. Tobacco companies were ultimately held responsible. "Food" producers should be held accountable, too.
Were Surgeon General Koop in office today, he may well have reached the same conclusion that many leading nutritionists and scientists have come to -- that it is time to launch a concerted attack on the purveyors of pernicious ingestible substances like partially hydrogenated oils. Until we find such a champion, the best action you can take is to become "a movement of one", and do your part to eradicate partially hydrogenated oils from our food supply.
The boycott is well underway! Here's what's happening:
Copyright © 2000
by Eric Armstrong. All rights reserved.
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