Firstly, ‘Fat’ is one of the most misunderstood and maligned words in language. Good oils (EFA) are just as essential to human health, longevity, skin health and weight-loss as carbohydrates or protein are. Just like these other food groups, it is all about where you get them and what you do to them that make them healthy or deadly. The fat to avoid is trans- fats (TF).
Trans- fats are a man-made monster
TF only exist in nature in meat and dairy produce. There are no TF in natural plant foods. When an oil or fat gets cooked for as little as 3 minutes, the digestive enzymes that are necessary to break down the fat can be destroyed, creating TF. The heating process means the hydrogen atoms change from a natural cis- formation into a trans- formation. This is where the name ‘trans- fats’ comes from. TF become solid like a piece of gum that sticks to your artery walls, causing blockages, becoming deadly arterial plaque which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. They simply remove good cholesterol and build up bad cholesterol. The very worst sort of fat that contains the highest and most deadly sort of TF is hydrogenated fat.
Hydrogenation and frying create trans- fats
Hydrogenated oils are heated from 500 to 1,000 degrees under several atmospheres of pressure. This immediately makes them rancid. Then a chemical solvent catalyst, typically a toxic metal such a nickel, platinum or aluminum is injected into the oil for several hours. Then it is treated with hydrogen which causes the molecular structure to be rearranged so at room temperature it hardens and becomes semi-solid. This has starch and emulsifiers added to it, then it is steam-cleaned to get rid of the rancid smell. Then it is bleached to remove the dead grey colour. Finally coal-tar dyes and flavours are added to make it look and taste good. This radical biochemical change means that once inside the human body, they are unstable, indigestible, nutritionally useless and highly dangerous (Plastic! Margarine!).
Hydrogenated fats last forever
Hydrogenated fats are widely used in commercial fast foods and baking as they last forever without spoiling. They can be labeled as ‘vegetable oil’ to make them seem healthy. Most processed foods contain hydrogenated fat to make them taste good and to enhance their shelf-life. The creation of TF was the side-effect of a commercial money-making decision. They are up to 85% cheaper than natural fats. Any deep fried or highly-processed oils will contain trans-fats even if they are labelled ‘zero trans- fats’ or ‘free from trans- fats’. All manufacturers have to do is to set their ‘one serving size’ low enough that it contains no more than 0.49 grams of trans fats. Highly-processed fried oils and meat and dairy products contain trans-fats. Any food that has high levels of trans- fat (takeaways), and does not rot at room temperature, should not be eaten or be seen as a rare treat.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.