Are fats really bad for you?

April 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm 1 comment

Low fat milk. low fat products, low fat, low fat, low fat! Why did fat become demonised? butter-sizzling

While this is not a platform for me to dissect the whole fats debate I can say that it was in the 1950’s that the “lipid hypothesis” was formed. Interestingly in Gascony France where the duck and goose pate (saturated fat) is a staple of the diet the number of heart attack deaths is 80 per 100,000 vs 315 per 100,000 in the USA. 1 It is in the USA where processed food for convenience really took off.

Today we are looking at “Trans fats”. What are they and what is the danger? Hydrogenation takes rancid polyunsaturated oils and mixes with tiny metal particles- usually nickel oxide. This is then subjected to hydrogen gas under high temperature and pressure. The purpose is to create a solid fat with a longer shelf life. The atoms in the fatty acid chain are changed through this process creating a formation rarely found in nature.

Hydrogenated fats have now been banned in New York state and it is only a matter of time before the rest of the world follows. If you want to read a more thorough thesis on fats read anything by Mary G Enig, PhD.

So another topic that has come up in conversation is what sweetener is best to use in my tea, baking? etc.

Well, the less processed the better is the simplest way to answer that. If it is raw like hive honey (unpasteurised) or cane juice it is in its rawest form with the most available amount of minerals. What about artificial sweeteners?

Aspartame and phenyalanine two of the most common ingredients in processed foods are heavily related to constant media attention and suspected diseases. Many studies done on rats are very unfavourable with apartame and it is still considered unsafe by leading health experts worldwide. I prefer to get my sweets if I need them from unmanufactured sources.  Maple syrup, Stevia powder, Agave syrup, molasses and any sweetener that is unprocessed or very little processing are the safest forms of “sugar”.


Lastly, I hope this will get you reading lables and look for trans fats and artificial sweeteners. If you buy anything that is packaged you will be surprised where you will see these things.

Till next time,


1. New York Times Nov- 17, 1991


Entry filed under: Health, Nutrition.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dimitris (formerly Jim Kay)  |  April 24, 2009 at 2:29 am

    What an excellent post! I knew that hydrogenated fats were bad but after reading your post about how it’s produced all I can say is why is this stuff still legal.

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