Over the past few years I have become increasingly conscious of what I eat. It used to be that when I was hungry, I consumed pretty much everything that was within arm’s reach. And I was especially appreciative of fast food. Though I suspected that fast food wasn’t terribly good for me, I figured my regime of exercise and lack of really bad habits, like smoking and drinking alcohol to excess et al, would compensate for whatever might be onerous in what I ate.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yet again I was blind-sided by our corporate greed and lack of controls on anything that generates profits. Just like the car industry that gave us SUVs, power companies who sang the king coal mantra and big tobacco who denied any connection whatsoever to any ill health from any of their products, so too was the food industry touting its list of lies for the sake of a fast buck.
Trans fats, or hydrogenated oils, a human invention that now permeates pretty much anything that comes from the processed food industry, is the nutritional equivalent of nuclear radiation. No amount is good. Not even the smallest smidgen of the stuff is safe to consume. Originally invented to be used in the margarine industry to replace butter because it would make liquid fats solid, it has found it way into literally everything we eat that is processed. It enhances taste, satisfies our cravings for fatty foods and best of all cheap and incredibly easy to manufacture. Just bubble some hydrogen through a vegetable oil and you get hydrogenated oils and fats or trans fats.
The problem is that trans fats occur in nature in only the tiniest amounts and natural foods are so low in the stuff that they are by and large devoid of trans fats. As a result your body has never developed the capacity to ingest or use trans fats, so it stores them in places that you don’t want. My cardiologist discovered evidence of fat food days clogging up an artery about five years ago that required an angioplasty and stent after I complained of chest pain while exercising. Shortly there after my eating habits underwent a remarkable transformation.
What really burns me is we have known about the ills of trans fats for a decade. And yet in most jurisdictions it is still legal to sell the stuff. Restaurants still cook with it, whether fast food or the more expensive kind. Most processed food, from breads to margarines to cookies to ice cream still have the stuff though it is the food equivalent of plutonium. And California is the only state or province that has in its wisdom banned trans fats.
Heart Disease is a killer and kills more than the testosterone laced drunks that pilot SUVs on our highways. So, why oh why do we still have this stuff in our food? And we feed it to our kids! It money folks, same old same old. Corporate profits and a slick ad campaign and the money comes rolling it! Who cares if its not good for you!
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