The Weston A. Price Way

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Getting to the Nitty-Gritty: What, exactly, ARE Trans Fatty Acids??

I know I went about this a little ackbasswards, but some of you aren't really that interested in scientific principles and down and dirty details, so I saved them for last. It is my hope that you have already read my last posts on Fat Facts: "How to Avoid Trans Fats", "The Dangers of Trans Fats", "How Margarines and Shortenings are Made", and "A Week of Fat Facts".

When I spoke yesterday of the term, "partially hydrogenated", I was speaking of the process that creates trans fatty acid fat molecules. This process rearranges hydrogen atoms in unsaturated fats, creating a 'fake fat' that becomes solid at room temperature.

About now, I could get into a lot of scientific jargon about molecules and atoms, cell membranes and things like the 'cis configuration' and electron clouds. I have a feeling you're about as interested in that as I am. BUT if you happen to be MORE interested in this sort of thing than I am, you can click here to find more of this type of jargon. I intend to simplify what is found there... 
As partial hydrogenation takes place, paired atoms are of the pair moves to the other side of the molecule. When this happens, a trans fatty acid is created. Believe it or not, even with the expense of processing, it costs less to use partially hydrogenated veggie oils for frying and making baked goods than it would cost to use natural, saturated fats such as butter, coconut oil, lard, palm oil or tallow.

The nutshell? The last part of the last paragraph is THE reason why manufacturers use partially hydrogenated oils. It is THE reason why so much effort has gone into propaganda telling us some oils that aren't healthy for us are healthy for us. It is THE reason it took such a battle to shed light on the truth about trans fats in places like McDonald's. And boy, weren't we mad about that? And yet, there are those even now, who still fight against those lobbying for our health along these exact same lines. We were glad when McDonald's and others were made to reveal the truth, but we didn't know the truth was so big and now that it's IN OUR HOMES and in our favorite foods, we don't really want to know. We want to cover our eyes and our ears because it's just too much.

Don't think for one second I don't get it. I do. I feel the same way sometimes, even now. I get tired of having to stand constant vigil over my doggone FOOD! And sometimes, I get tired of cooking. And sometimes, I get tired of eating my own cooking. Then, I hear someone sneeze and remember how I haven't been sick for a longer time than in past and recent years. Or one of you writes me and I remember that there are others out there with the same struggles and it somehow makes me feel a little stronger. So, I plug on. I hope you do, too. But if you slip... Don't fret. Don't fret. Don't fret! Get back up on the horse as soon as you feel able, and keep on riding. It's a worthwhile endeavor.

I have barely hit the tip of the iceberg on the subject of fats here. I want to share a few links with you so you can study more deeply if you would like:

The Great Con-ola

Know Your Fats Introduction

The Skinny on Fats

Today and tomorrow mark the end of the school year for our two youngest grandchildren. Therefore, the full-time summer childcare begins for me. As many of you already know, we are also starting a new business in CPR/AED and First Aid training. I am honestly a little nervous about how we are going to manage both. And of course, my heart is here writing and sharing with you. Your prayers and patience will be much appreciated as we make our way through this transitional season of our lives. If you don't find me, know my thoughts are not far from here, even if my fingers are.

Have a lovely remainder of the week. I'll do my best to be back next week...I really want to share the marvels of coconut with you.
~Many Blessings,

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