We have learned in the whole grain series that manufacturers have loopholes they can create and use in labeling. This often dupes even the savviest shopper. Manufacturers are only required to list grams of trans-fats in the nutritional panel if the item contains 0.5 grams or more per serving. If a serving contains 0.4 grams, it does not have to be listed. We learned in the last post that there is no safe level of trans-fats in the diet, so in our opinion, this is unsatisfactory. You must read every ingredient on the label, searching for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially … [Read more...] about How to Spot Sneaky Forms of Trans Fats on Labels
If you have made it this far, you are either very dedicated to learning, dedicated to becoming healthier, or you are as fascinated as we are with learning the TRUTH about fats. Whatever the case, we are glad you are still here. If there was a fat that had horns and carried a pitchfork, it would be trans-fats; they are the ugliest, most damaging of them all. WARNING: here comes that sneaky chemistry again. The fats we have learned about thus far are considered “Cis” fats. Cis means “on the same side.” You can see in this borrowed image that the circled cis bond has the hydrogen … [Read more...] about What is a Trans-Fat?
Remember that chemistry post? This is one of the places that understanding the molecular structure of fats comes into play. When unstable polyunsaturated oils (the ones with multiple, spring-like double bonds) are exposed to heat and oxygen (like when you use them to cook), they can create what we call “free radicals.” This is SUPER CONFUSING because the supermarket aisle is FULL of polyunsaturated cooking oils and everyone and their brother tells you canola oil is the heart-healthy choice, but it is not healthy at all. As we promised, we are going to tell you WHY and not just expect … [Read more...] about Oils and Free Radicals
We have been through quite a journey and it is not over! We have learned why fats are important for our bodies and which fats are essential and in what ratios. We have learned about good, bad, and ugly fats. We touched on the molecular chemistry of fats. Now, we are going to learn how cooking oils are processed and, after that, why rancid oils are bad for us. rancid adjective (of foods containing fat or oil) smelling or tasting unpleasant as a result of being old and stale We know that polyunsaturated oils are unstable once they leave their place in nature. Well, this … [Read more...] about How Cooking Oils are Processed
We previously read that fats can be categorized into three types: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s look at the chemical structure of fat molecules to learn more. (Don’t panic – there will not be a test!) To put it simply, fat molecules are like chains made up of carbon atoms linked together. Each carbon atom has 4 “bonding sites” where they can attach to other atoms. On those sites, they bond with another carbon atom or a hydrogen atom. (There are more details about the carboxyl group at the end and more, but just trying to give the “need-to-know” info to explain the major … [Read more...] about The Chemistry of Fats
So far, we have learned why fats are important for our bodies, and which fats are essential and in what ratios. Now we will learn about the types of fats. Fats can be categorized in one of three ways – the good, the bad, and the ugly. A good fat is one that exists naturally in plants and animals, is healthy to consume, and is essential to our health. Examples would be: avocados, butter (preferably raw and organic), extra virgin coconut oil, palm oil, fish and fish oils, cod liver oil, eggs, olives and extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, and even the saturated fat in organic, raw milk … [Read more...] about The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Fats