Friday, May 15, 2009

Trans-Fat Free...Does This Mean it's Healthy?

Do you look for labels on foods to buy that say "trans-fat free"? If so, you could be falling into a hole of believing the food manufacturer telling you that a food is healthy when it is actually not. Many products containing unhealthy oils are lurking in the grocery store - crackers, breads, pretzels, chips, rice cakes, cookies, desserts, sauces, salad dressings, and broths, and soups just to name a few. These products often contain canola, soybean, cottonseed, or some other type of vegetable oil that becomes a trans-fat simply by the way it is processed. Most people assume that if something does not specifically read "hydrogenated", it is healthy. The best oils to consume are:
  • cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil (can be used on lower heat)
  • cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil (can be used on high heat)
  • fish-oil from safe-source fish (do not heat this oil)
  • cold-pressed flax-seed oil (do not heat this oil)
Only on occasion should you consume the following: organic non-GMO (genetically modified) oils that are cold-processed such as grapeseed, sunflower, and safflower. These oils are polyunsaturated and contain higher levels of Omega 6 essential fatty acids. While we do need these in our diets, the Western diet typically contains a too-high ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s. Concentrate on getting the Omega 3 levels up and Omega 6 levels down.

When you go shopping, remember the best foods are always whole, real foods. Oils such as canola, soybean, cottonseed and others are engineered foods that contribute to health problems when consumed such as heart disease, weight gain, high blood pressure, malabsorption of nutrients, and other issues. Trans fats can hide in a variety of products. When in doubt, make foods from scratch - especially foods like salad dressings. You can mix your own oils at home with different types of vinegars, spices, fruits, salt, pepper, and garlic for fantastic flavor and health at the same cost as bottled dressings.

No comments: