Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dangers of trans fats

Dangers of trans fats
With new trans fat labeling laws now going into effect, which require food manufacturers to list the trans fat content right on the nutrition facts label, it's time to be brutally honest about the continued use of trans fat and hydrogenated oils in the food manufacturing industry. For decades, food manufacturers have known about the dangers to the health of consumers caused by hydrogenated oils, and yet, until recently, food manufacturers were able to claim innocence by saying that their ingredient was not really proven to be dangerous, or that it is perfectly legal to use.

Today, however, the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates the human health hazards correlated with the consumption of hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids, which means there is no longer any reasonable justification for the use of this ingredient in foods, other than the profitability of the foods being marketed to consumers.

Using hydrogenated oils in foods is a strategy used by manufacturing companies to enhance the taste of their foods, add calories to their foods and extend the shelf life and shelf stability of those foods. This all adds up to higher profits for food companies. The real costs of using this ingredient, however, are shifted to consumers (a process called externalizing costs). Those include the starkly increased risk of a number of degenerative chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, birth defects, cancer, malabsorption of healthy oils and the universal breakdown of cell wall structures throughout all organs and tissues of the body, including nervous system tissues (eyes, brain, spinal cord, etc.).

Hydrogenated oils are so dangerous that the World Health Organization urged all member countries to outlaw it decades ago (in 1978). In the decades since, food manufacturers have been able to put enough pressure on the USDA and the FDA to keep this deadly ingredient legal, and all the while, they claimed that it was actually good for your health. Remember the hype and promotion of margarine that food experts said was better than butter? That was pure marketing propaganda designed to sell soybean oil, the vast majority of which was hydrogenated and contained trans fats (and still does, as everybody can see right on the label).
Dangers of trans fats

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