I want to share an article with you by Dr. Jana Fortner, N.D. who is the author of a book I highly recommend entitled 7 Keys to Awesome Health. The book is available from www.amazon.com Early in my recovery, I consulted with Dr. Fortner personally. Fortunately, her office was a short drive from my home at the time.
She confirmed what I was already doing, but adjusted several things, tested me for certain deficiencies (like zinc) and added two or three important supplements to my regimen including a supplement to help me digest fats since I had my gall bladder removed as part of my cancer surgery. She fine tuned my nutritional program. She monitored my progress until I was satisfactorily balanced in a program designed just for me.
The information in this article is meant to clear up confusion regarding fats in our diet. We MUST balance our fat intake, and avoid lethal fat products; yet, we need fats because our cell membranes are actually constructed largely from fats. I hope you enjoy the article and that you will visit Dr. Fortner’s website.
Nutritional Health Education Center
What’s Wrong with Hydrogenated Oil or Chemically Altered Oil?© www.awesomehealthmakeover.com
Hydrogenated oils are essentially refined and processed vegetable oils. They are the product of a lengthy process which culminates in the bubbling of hydrogen through refined and deodorized oil at temperatures exceeding 200 C. The extreme heat causes the structure of the fat molecules to be altered such that oil which was originally liquid at room temperature is now solid or semi-solid. These altered, unnatural fatty acids are then called trans-fatty acids but they are more commonly known as shortening or margarine. Now, there are also “trans-fat free” margarines which are chemically altered, nutritionally void, and just as unhealthy as the trans-fat variety they are meant to replace.
It is not at all safe to eat hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or chemically altered oils even though they are found in all kinds of pre-packaged foods. Food manufacturers add hydrogenated oils to foods in order to preserve shelf life and produce a pleasing texture. They use these unhealthy fats because their healthier counterparts are a lot more expensive and have a much shorter shelf life.
Because the human body was created long before altered fats were, it was not designed to process them. While we have very efficient mechanisms for handling normal fats, abnormal ones throw the body into a state of confusion and disorder.
Healthy, unaltered fats normally serve a number of vital functions in the body. They are burned for long-term energy, and they are necessary components of the membrane surrounding every cell in the body. You make thousands of new cells every minute. [My note: Several of my blog posts here and at www.slamthedooroncancer.com discuss the need to balance Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty ESSENTIAL (must ingest in foods) acids. All of the posts discussing the “Budwig Protocol” include this information. My book, Slam the Door on Cancer and Lock It Out of Your Life, also discusses the importance of our taking in proper fatty acids. Dr. Fortner’s book is a great source of information on all these subjects as well and both of our books are quite readable.]
Trans-fats, however, don’t burn properly for fuel and don’t function properly in cell membranes. When fats don’t function correctly, the cell membrane’s ability to control what comes into and goes out of the cell may be severely impaired, resulting in lowered immunity, impaired hormonal function, and early cell death.
Because trans-fats are not recognized by the body as useful substances, the liver classifies them as toxic wastes and attempts to detoxify and eliminate them. This creates an unusual burden on the liver and gall bladder, which can lead to degeneration in those organs. The liver performs at least 500 distinct and critical functions in the body, so it pays large dividends to make sure it is not stressed.
Body chemistry requires many vitamins and minerals in order to digest and process foods to make energy or produce new body cells. These specific nutrients are normally contained in the foods we eat to keep a balance in the body between what we are using up and what we are taking in. Like all refined foods, however, hydrogenated oils have had all of their nutrients removed during processing. This lack of nutrients is the reason they keep so well on the shelf – nutrients spoil, motor oil doesn’t. When you eat refined food, your body has to use up vitamins and minerals from your own reserve supplies – leaving you with a deficiency that will negatively affect energy production and organ function.
According to a study reported by Mary Enig, Ph.D., “when monkeys were fed trans-fat containing margarine in their diets…their red blood cells did not bind insulin as well as when they were not fed trans-fats. This suggests a link with diabetes. Trans-fatty acids have been linked with a variety of adverse health effects which include: cancer, ischemic heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diverticulitis, diabetes, and other degenerative conditions.”
Where might you find hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils? Here is a partial list of possibilities:
some cold cereals, chips and crackers, some peanut butter,microwaveable popcorn, roasted / salted nuts, pre-packaged cookies, many candies, margarines and shortenings, pre-packaged snack cakes.
ALL deep frying or high-heat baking hydrogenates the oils in foods such as french fries, chicken nuggets, onion rings, etc.
Virtually all baking mixes and many batters including cake, muffin, and pancake may contain hydrogenated oils.
Are there any good oils? Some fats are necessary for proper function and rebuilding of the body. Good sources include flax oil, extra virgin coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. For maximum benefit these oils should be consumed raw. Flax oil in particular should never be heated. Here are some substitution suggestions to help you on your way to health:
Instead of: Use:
Instead of margarine use organic butter, extra-virgin coconut oil
Instead of shortening, use organic butter, extra-virgin coconut oil
Instead of canola or soybean oils, use extra-virgin olive oil, flax oil
What can you safely do with a hydrogenated or chemically altered oil? Save it for the next time you have a squeaky hinge.”