A Fabricated Health Issue

A Fabricated Health Issue
The entire anti-saturated fat campaign was designed to appear as a health issue. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils were promoted as healthy alternatives because they didn't raise blood cholesterol. When restaurants and food producers made the switch, the public assumed saturated fats were being replaced by "heart friendly" vegetable oils. What the vegetable oil promoters conveniently failed to mention was that the type of vegetable oil that was replacing saturated fats was anything but heart friendly. The oil that replaced the tropical oils was hydrogenated vegetable oil - the unhealthiest fat in the human diet. The public had been deceived.

Why were hydrogenated oils used instead of liquid vegetable oils? Liquid vegetable oils cannot replace saturated fats in food preparation and give the same result. Harder fats are needed to give foods the quality customers expect. Hydrogenated vegetable oils are the only fats that can substitute for saturated fats. The vegetable oil industry knew this all along, but never revealed it to the public.

The problem with hydrogenated oils is that during the hydrogenation process, polyunsaturated fats are transformed into trans fatty acids - toxic artificial fats. By 1990, a number of studies were emerging showing that trans fatty acids promoted heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and a host of other health problems. "These are probably the most toxic fats ever known," says Walter Willett, M.D., professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. "It looks like trans fatty acids are two to three times as bad as saturated fats in terms of what they do to blood lipids." Dr. Willett and his colleagues at Harvard University estimate that the consumption of trans fats in the American diet cause up to 228.000 heart attacks each year.

With the removal of tropical oils, hydrogenated vegetable oils penetrated every level of our food supply. By the early 1990s, we were consuming 10 times as much harmful trans fats as we had a decade earlier.

Consumption of trans fats ranges up to about 15 percent of calories, depending on a person's diet. Even tiny amounts of trans fats pose a threat. A mere 2 percent increase in energy from trans fatty acids increases risk for heart disease by 25 percent. According to a report by the Danish Nutrition Council, trans fats are up to 10 times worse than saturated fats as a risk factor for heart disease. Dr. Willett says that removing trans fats would probably have more affect than anything else we can do in preventing heart attack deaths.

The campaign to remove so called unhealthy saturated fats and replace them with "heart friendly" vegetable oils was nothing but a scam. In their quest to gain greater profits, the soybean industry and their friends succeeded in removing harmless tropical oils from our diet and replaced else are the victims of this deplorable scam. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are found everywhere from baked goods and frozen dinners to baby food and dietary supplements. All of us are now exposed to this menace.

In 2003, the United States Institute of Medicine reported the results of a three-year investigation of all published studies on hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats. Their conclusion was that no level of trans fats are safe in the diet. This is interesting because the Institute of Medicine didn't give a limit that would be considered safe; they flatly stated that no amount was safe. According to them even the tiniest amount poses a health risk. As a result of these findings the FDA passed a law requiring the labeling of trans fats beginning in the year 2006. The FDA said this labeling requirement will encourage people to make better food choices which will prevent numerous heaths each year from heart disease. The FDA acknowledges that hydrogenated vegetable oils cause or at least contribute to heart disease, something that the vegetable oil industry couldn't prove with tropical oils, as revealed in the senate hearings a few years earlier.***

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