When it comes to will power over Banana Cream pies, irresistible Butter Pecan ice Cream, and Sarah Lee’s and Entenmann’s out-of-this-world desserts, there is no such thing. Your taste buds have no immunity to blockbuster foods. It is what it is. Foodies and their taste buds are instant gratification experts. How can anyone in this world pass up mouth-watering goodies with oils with trans fats infused? These generational habits are very hard to break.
Breaking Generational Curses
Although our bodies need proper nutrients for optimal health, we fixate on the unhealthy versions of food. Today our crises are triple-pronged. First, we deal with environmental issues. Next, we have COVID-19 and then to top that off, the obesity crisis is bigger than life. The latter is the one that is reversible The main causes of obesity are oils and trans fats in our diets. These are the new generational curses. The time is ripe to break the unhealthy lifestyle crisis.
Why are Trans Fats so Delicious?
While devouring Auntie Joan’s delicious, yummy, homemade peach cobbler and the mouth-watering cream puffs that Cousin Joan sent over, there’s no guilty after thought because as far as you know, this is food for the soul. Tell me about it. I grew up thinking that every good meal begins and ends with some type of trans fat food. Taste buds are in heaven with trans fats.
Forget the Nutrients, Pass the Trans Fats
All due respect to my parents, I had a fairly decent childhood. However, in retrospect, most of my childhood was full of trans fat foods. Lots of homemade potato salad, lots of meat loaf and gravy, macaroni and cheeses, pork sausages, hot dogs, store bought Mrs. Paul’s frozen goodies, frozen fish sticks, pot pies, frozen pizzas. Jiffy popcorn and lots more that would take up this page. Forget the need for micronutrients. Pass the trans fats. Many of you know exactly what I’m saying. Unfortunately, I scream, you scream, we all scream (crave) for the unhealthy.
According to the FDA, nearly half of all cereals, both cold and hot, contain trans fats. Here are a few more examples:
- Trans fat found in 70% of cake mixes
- 75% of chips, and other salty snacks
- 80% of fried breakfast foods like waffles
- 9 out of 10 cookies
Only a hand full of trans fats are palatable for human consumption. Not all ruminant fats are bad fats.
Meat and dairy from cattle and sheep contain ruminant trans fats. Studies show that trans fats from these animals are not detrimental to humans. Ruminant (rTFA) are naturally occurring fatty acids that are synthesized during the animal’s digestion. These fats are found in beef, lamb and the dairy products. They contain highly saturated fatty acids.
There’s a Trans Fat Euphoria
The CDC, FDA, WHO, nutritionists and medical experts, have spread the news in terms of America’s Health Crisis. Finally, it is getting the attention it deserves. Hollywood celebrities, college students and entire church congregations are finally waking up (including me). For the first time, in history, after years and years of misinformation, we now know the TRUTH. We don’t have an obesity crisis we have a LACK OF KNOWLEDGE CRISIS. Truth about trans-fat has been revealed.
Dangers of Trans Fat
Healthy fats are essential for the body’s supply of energy and other functions. These include avocados, fatty fish (salmon), and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Trans fats (TF), however, are the arch enemy of healthy fats. They disrupt and destroy the body from the inside out. TF lowers your good cholesterol (HDL). Eating trans fats in excess also leads to weight gain. Every gram of fat you eat provides 9 calories. This is more than twice as many carbs and protein combined. As a result, trans fats are the number one contributor to heart disease and other medical conditions.
Trans Fat Hydrogenation
Most of the oils and trans fat in the foods we eat today are all out dangerous. Many of these foods have been stripped of their vital nutrients through food processing. This is known as hydrogenation. Fat hydrogenation is the process of combining fat – typically, vegetable oils- with hydrogen. In fact, unsaturated fat is turned into a saturated fat, which looks a lot like margarine.
The Hydrogenation Process
In the process of hydrogenation, food manufacturers chemically alter the structure of vegetable oil. Therefore, partial hydrogenation results in… voila! trans fats. This inflammatory ingredient has some deleterious effects to your system. It raises your bad cholesterol (LDL). Hydrogenation is a complicated, intricate process involving a nickel catalyst.
A nickel catalyst converts the liquid into a solid fat at room temperature. This process is carried out at a very high pressure, with the help of a nickel catalyst (metals). These nickel salt substances are also called hydrogenated catalysts. They are used during the process of hydrogenation of polyunsaturated compounds. Nickel catalysts are frequently used in organic chemistry. This solid has a fine-grained texture. In fact, for all of you Chemistry majors, Nickel is a chemical element with the symbol Ni and atomic number 28. Can children learn about trans-fat in a Chemistry class? Hmm…
Preparing Children for Sickness and Disease
Think back to the good old days when you couldn’t wait to celebrate your birthday or other holiday. You dreamed about sinking your teeth into your birthday cake covered in a thick layer of white, yummy frosting. You couldn’t wait to taste Aunt Mary’s coconut cream pies and to-die-for Pineapple Upside down cake. She was known as the Crisco Queen. Those days prepared us for a life full of sickness and disease. Where was the FDA back in the 60s?
The Other FDA Mandate on Trans Fat
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had enough. They now require all food companies to phase out artificial trans fats (or partially hydrated oils). Fortunately, the average grams per serving in reformulated products have been dropping steadily. Thankfully, because of the FDA regulations, many products containing trans fats still sit on store shelves, hopefully indefinitely. Maybe forever.
Be Aware of Hidden Trans Fat
Trans fats are mostly found in highly processed food such as packaged cookies and other manufactured bakery products such as:
- vegetable shortening
- frozen pizza
- packages of frozen meals
- non-dairy coffee creamers
- microwave popcorn
- canned foods
Health and Homeostasis
Homeostasis is an internal feedback system that stabilizes and balances our body’s chemistry. For starters, eating a balanced diet of healthy foods along with physical activity, helps keep our organs in tip-top shape. At the other end of the health spectrum is sickness and disease that cause disruption of homeostasis. So, now you get the big picture of the importance of maintaining a healthy body and mind. Homeostasis is anti-trans fats.
Health is the New Normal
Get in tune with the beauty of health. Believe it or not, health is the new wealth. If we knew back in the 1960s what we know today, my family members and friends would not be suffering with their current conditions. I am quite sure you, too, know someone who suffers with one or another health issue. Nine times out of ten, these conditions are reversible with a change in diet and lifestyle. The body wants to be in a state of health and homeostasis.
Benefits of Protecting Your Health
Your body responds to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, you get immediate benefits when you start giving your body the nourishment it deserves. First, you will feel more alert. You will start sleeping better, have more positive energy and you’ll have mental clarity. This is called health homeostasis. Make no mistakes, no one ever chooses sickness and pain over health. So, get in the go. Scale up your health. Kick unhealthy health habits to the curve.
Start Your Campaign to Spruce up Your Health
Give a healthy lifestyle a try. Introduce more fruits and vegetables and whole foods into your shopping cart. Eliminate all processed and packaged foods from your diet. Annihilate them. They are chock-full of hidden additives and artificial preservatives. In essence, stay as far away from trans fats as possible. Focus on your health and vitality.
Raise up a Healthy Offspring
Raise up strong, healthy, vibrant children and emphasis a diet replete with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts and other macro and micronutrients. Teach them, early on, about the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants we all need. Finally, make sure they incorporate daily physical activity into their schedules, drink lots of water and get adequate amounts of sleep. These are the vital building blocks of healthy living.
Get Healthy for Posterity
The reality is that health IS the new normal. If you hesitate to get healthy for yourself, do it for people you care about; your children, grandchildren and the rest of your family members. You have the power to transition to a healthier, life-sustaining lifestyle. Include regular physical activity in your plans. It has the power to lift your mood and help you feel better. Get out in the sun and soak up Vitamin D. Also, remember, to do all things in moderation. Take action today. Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
My Final Wisdom
Nutritional information was excluded from food labels prior to 2006. Now manufacturers must disclose all ingredients in their products, including trans fats. We have come a long way, in terms of labels. More good news, we have the key to develop a world full of healthy inhabitants. Let’s get on the band wagon. Why not give the next generation a big health boost. Parents, grandparents, community leaders, educators, do your part to promote a healthy future for our kids. Leave the unhealthy, over processed foods and drinks behind. The real education starts with you and your mastery over nutrition.
I am glad you stayed with me on this journey. We can master our healthy lifestyle together. Please feel free to share this content with whoever you choose. Hopefully, it will make a difference, that as you enjoy a healthier, happier lifestyle, free of over processed foods and artificial preservatives. Change your life, one meal, one person at a time.
Feel free to leave your comments and questions in the comment section. I will respond ASAP.