“Trans-fats” are manufactured fats, produced by pushing hydrogen into vegetable oils to produce a solid fat, hence they are also called “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils. Trans-fats are in fried foods, margarines, and baked goods, packaged snacks, cookies, pie crusts, and donuts. Even “healthy” low-fat muffins and cereals may contain trans-fats. The trouble is that trans-fats are bad for us even in tiny quantities. Research has shown that they are implicated in increased cardiac disease, cholesterol levels, and yes, cancer.
According to Dr. Brian Olshansky, Professor of Internal Medicine at Iowa University, “The problem with trans fatty acids is that your body doesn’t know what to do with them. Trans fatty acids may help preserve food so that it tastes good, but your body can’t break them down and use them correctly. Normal fats are very supple and pliable, but the trans fatty acid is a stiff fat that can build up in the body and create havoc. The chemical recipe for a trans fatty acid involves putting hydrogen atoms in the wrong place. It’s like making a plastic.”
In order to mass produce and distribute foods high in oils, food manufactures deliberately alter the chemical composition of the oils, which gives them longer “shelf lives.” Another problem with many processed foods is that they are not only irradiated, but they are made with genetically modified foods. If we look at corn chips, we see a product that is likely made with genetically modified corn, then process in trans-fats, and then irradiated. After all of this, the chips are packaged in a bag which says “All Natural.” But don’t be deceived… there is nothing “natural” about fried corn chips.
In the 1950s, Dr. Johanna Budwig proved that these chemically-altered hydrogenated fats (which she called “pseudo” fats) destroy cell membranes. She demonstrated that these hydrogenated, processed fats and oils shut down the electrical field of the cells and make us susceptible to chronic and terminal diseases.
In healthy fats there is a vital electron cloud which enables the fat to bind with oxygen. Healthy, Oxygenated fats are capable of binding with protein and in the process become water-soluble. This water solubility is vital to all growth processes, cell damage restoration, cell renewal, brain and nerve functions, sensory nerve functions, and energy development. In fact, the entire basis of our energy production is based on lipid metabolism. Hydrogenation destroys the vital electron cloud, and as a result, these “pseudo” fats can no longer bind with oxygen or with protein. These fats end up blocking circulation, damaging the heart, inhibiting cell renewal, and impeding the free flow of blood and lymph.
Three of the most popular foods which contain trans-fats are donuts, French fries, and chips. Donuts are nothing but big balls of sugar, trans-fats, and white flour. They have no nutritional value. Most French fries and chips have been soaked in trans-fats to such extent that there is virtually no nutrition left in them. Some companies have tried to make them more “healthy” by eliminating the trans-fats, but all donuts and chips and fries that are cooked in oil (regardless of what type oil) contain cancer-causing acrylamides.
The chemical, acrylamide, which is used industrially in the manufacture of some plastics, is also formed by the heating of starches. And guess what… three foods with especially high levels of acrylamides are donuts, French fries, and potato chips. Acrylamides are only allowed in your drinking water at a level of .12 micrograms per serving by the EPA. Alarmingly, a sic ounce helping of French fries at your local fast food joint will contain anywhere from 50 to 70 micrograms of acrylamides. That’s between 400 and 600 times the EPA limit! I have heard it said by numerous doctors that a French fry is worse for your health that a cigarette.
In light of the fact that they have been shown to cause so many health problems, why do food manufactures continue to use trans-fats? The answer Is plain and simple: money. Trans-fats greatly prolong the shelf life of processed foods.