Here is Part 1 of our 6 part mini health series. This series will focus on 6 important “pillars of health”, including fats in your diet, your bowel, energy, sleep, weight and blood pressure.
You can achieve excellent independent health, and it is important to realise that health is the greatest commodity you can ever have, so every step you succeed at improving your health, whether it feels large or small, is a great leap forward in this most important journey.
If you get discouraged at any point, keep this in mind: This is your one and only body and mind, and, more than anything else, it is worth it!
This article is packed with great health hints and tips and you may like to print off this series for later reference too, while it will only take you 5 minutes to read this email there is a lot to take in.
Each of the upcoming articles will focus on a new aspect of your diet and lifestyle.
Hydrogenated Fats – Part 1
Removing the not so obvious junk from your diet. Your challenge when you go shopping next – to take a closer look at food labels, you may be surprised what you fats may be consuming unknowingly. Some of the information coming up ahead may be useful to family or friends, so be sure to forward forward this email to a friend or family member if you would like to keep others in the loop!
Research has shown that part of the diet of those in Western nations consists of fizzy carbonated drinks, potato chips, meat pies, muesli bars, take-away foods, canned foods, alcohol, tv dinners and processed foods in general. Even with the rising number of people joining the weight-loss craze diets, a study of 4,700 adults revealed that fizzy drinks and sweets, which contain what are known as empty calories because of their low nutritional value, were at the top of the list of most calories consumed. Statistics showed that these “empty calories” accounted for almost an amazing 25 percent of all the calories eaten by Australians and Kiwis as well as those living in America and Europe in general.
But – what about the hidden fats? You know about the fat on meat or chicken skin, but what about the bad fats found in other foods, like muesli bars or chocolate? Animal fats are frowned upon by most and thought to cause heart disease, when in fact it is the man made fats which are the ones to be avoided.
Salty snacks and fruit juices made up an additional 5 percent of the diet. Some experts have placed the blame for the obesity epidemic on these shocking revelations. A survey consisted of the collection of interview responses of 4,760 adults. The survey took place over the years 1999 and 2000 and involved questioning the participants on all the foods they had eaten over the past 24 hours.
Results of the 2001 study revealed that sweets were the number one calorie consumed followed by burgers, pizza and potato chips. The other highly consumed calorie was fizzy soft drinks and alcohol which made up for 7.1 percent of all the calories consumed. Ok, ten year old news. “I don’t eat these things” you say. But I’ll bet you don’t pay pay much attention to the hydrogenated fats.
You may well be eating a take-away or processed food containing a fat called “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”. Do you eat any packaged biscuits, muesli bars, margarine (including those olive oil margarines) and any foods out of packets, bottles or cans? You would be surprised to know that hydrogenated fats are potentially in most of these foodstuffs. Take a look at the label. If it says “contains hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) fats then you may want to avoid these foods. AND – if the food manufacturer uses 1/2 gram of this bad fat or less per serve, they are not even at liberty to disclose. Great, so now what? You eat less processed foods, that’s my recommendation. Cook at home using lean meats and vegetables like we did in the old days (before all high statistics for cancer, diabetes and heart disease).
Did you know that hydrogenated are banned in Sweden, and in 2006 in NZ McDonalds went “hydrogenated free” with their oils, because in that year it became mandatory to state on the label if food contained it or not.
What are hydrogenated fats?
They are man-made oils which are used to extend the shelf-life of processed foods and are used in pastries, cakes, cookies, muesli bars, nearly all margarines and many fast foods. They are implicated in increasing your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and reducing your HDL (good cholesterol) levels. This is exactly the opposite you are trying to achieve with preventing heart disease. These man made fats have no nutritional benefit and even a small reduction reduces your future chances of heart disease.
It is interesting to see that cakes, cookies, pies and probably that slice of bread you have in the morning with breakfast may well contain a hydrogenated fat, and then there’s that margarine, 17% of the shocking fats. Try real butter instead, better for your heart – Sorry about that, I just thought you’d like to know.
The solution – read labels, avoid those man made fats and consume healthy fats and oils
I personally prefer olive oil, sunflower oil, real butter (unsalted) and coconut oil. These are all healthy fat choices. Before supermarkets, there was NO need for hydrogenation, yet people ate plenty of fat! But the difference is that they ate a healthier diet in general (more vegetable gardens for example) and were more active.Enough evidence today points to these bad fats as a major cause of heart disease and potentially cancer. Eat fresh!