One of Our Concerns

An innocent surfer caught
in the web?

(I originally wrote this
back in 2000. There has been a lot of progress in reducing the amount of trans
fats in foods since then but I still see it in many labels, especially in some
snack foods and baked goods. Please be aware!)

I’m a warrior against hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats. Hydrogenated oils are plant oils, originally liquid at normal room temperature, transformed by heat, hydrogen, pressure, and a catalyst into oils now solid or partly solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated oils (hy. oils) are manmade products, no longer “natural” after being processed. Unfortunately, hy. oils are used in thousands of food products consumed daily by many millions of unsuspecting people. The main reason hy. oils are used in the food industry is because they, and many products made with them, have a relatively long shelf life. This helps to assure greater profits for the processors and the retailers. Nothing wrong with profits, in my opinion, if the foods you sell to make the profits are healthy. But that is not the case with foods made with hy. oils. The human body does not know how to properly digest or process hy. oils so many health problems can occur with continued use of these horrid products. This is not just my opinion but also the view of many scientists and certified nutritionists. “The worst type of fat appears to be trans fat,” said Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School. (Remember, hy. oils are trans fats.) His remark points out one of the most important findings of his famous Nurses’ Health Study. This research followed the eating habits and health profiles of over 80,000 nurses for fourteen years or more. “The real important message is people should decrease their intake of saturated fat and trans fat, period,” said Dr. Alice Lichtenstein of the U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition center at Tufts University in Boston. Peter Kwiterovich, M.D. also joins the chorus against hy. oils. He states that trans fats can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while also decreasing “good” HDL levels. Dr. Kwiterovich is the director of The University Lipid Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and is an author. Mary Enig, PHD, states that a European study shows relatively high levels of trans fatty acids in adipose (fat) tissue of women with breast cancer. Dr. Enig is an author and director of the Nutritional Sciences Division, Enig Associates, Inc.

Hy. oils continued:

Besides raising the “bad” and lowering the “good” cholesterol other effects of Hy. oils reported by Dr. Mary Enig in her Trans Fatty Acid Report include increased blood insulin in response to glucose load (thus increasing risk for Diabetes), and decreased levels of testosterone in male animals. Also trans fats appear to lower birth weight in human infants and to interfere in gestation in Females. What scares me the most about hy. oils are the finding that they cause an alteration in adipose cell size and composition and the report that hy. oils also cause an increase in levels of abnormal sperm in males ingesting it. Could either of these two events indicate the beginning of a type of cancer? God forbid! There are many other reported bad events caused by these unnatural fats. Do you really want to continue putting hy. oils into your body? Please stop the use of hydrogenated oils, and urge your friends to stop using them also. Write or e-mail the food manufacturers and tell them you will not use their product as long as they make it with trans fats. You have my permission to copy this article (in its entirety) and send it to others. If you personally know a news reporter then tell them of hy. oils harm to our body and urge them to do a story about this as well. At least we can try to get this “junk” the reputation it deserves and thus greatly reduce its use. The health of our collective families deserves no less an effort! Author: Jerry 7/01/2000