I decided, after worrying myself over how to eat well this week while away from home, that writing about trans-fats while I'm here will help me stay on track a little better. (It's amazing how easy it is to fall back into old habits.)
I have talked about butter being good for us -not just comparatively better than margarine or other spreads, but actually, good. I've also spoken of cod liver oil as a superfood, the goodness of coconut oil, (which I want to explore more deeply at another time), and the greatness of raw milk and raw milk products including kefir and cream cheese. So, if you've been following, you most likely have surmised by now that I am not at odds with all fats. And contrary to popular trends, I am not at odds with unadulterated saturated fats, either.
But to get to the point of discussing that, I need to first delve more deeply into the subject of trans-fats. I talked to a dear lady on the plane today and she is so interested in healthful eating, as so many of us are. But there is so much misinformation out there! I don't think any of us has everything just right, not even the Weston A. Price Foundation....Not because I've found errors in their science, but because I don't believe anyone but God knows everything about everything. STILL, I am convinced in this area of trans-fats. It didn't take The Price Foundation to get me to believe this, either... and yet, in a way, it did.
When I came upon the WAPF, I already knew trans-fats were bad...but I didn't really know why. I had a surface knowledge and you probably did/do, too. But how did that knowledge, hidden for so long, come to the place where it became nearly common knowledge? I personally believe it was because of people like Sally Fallon Morrell and other leaders within the WAP Foundation, that this knowledge has come to us. They lobby in DC and follow Weston Price's mandate to TEACH the truth about nutrition. Even now, they continue to battle for disclosure in labeling our food products and correction of daily food requirements as set forth on the food pyramid. It is an uphill battle and those who don't want to disclose their ingredients push back hard. But that's for another day...or maybe not even then.
I stated earlier that although I knew trans-fats were bad, I didn't know why. With the help of Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, I understand it better now.
In the years when trans fats were introduced to us, they were touted as better for us than butter. Women by the millions began to fill their refrigerators with the near-plastic substance in an honest effort to keep themselves and their families slim and heart-healthy. Unfortunately, although it's great that it is now being admitted that trans fats are bad for us, the problem of the first untruth remains without remedy. The statement you will often hear now is that trans fats are "just as bad as saturated fats", (from butter, meat fats and tropical oils). The not-so-subtle implication is that saturated fats are bad for us. Therefore, the misconception about saturated fat continues to chip away at our health.
Today, I will hone in on the difference between trans fats and saturated fats so you can understand as I came to understand, why they should never be categorized together:
- have a strong and important role in body chemistry.
- lower Lp(a)...meaning they lessen the chances of heart disease.
- boost immunity.
- enhance assimilation of Omega-3 fatty acids
- aid in proper lung function
- boosts metabolism & help with weight loss (some types)
- (butter and meat fats) promote fertility, protect and fight against cancer
Wrap your head around that for a while and I'll get back here asap to give you more of the story.
- hinder body chemistry
- raise Lp(a)...meaning they increase the chances of heart disease.
- interfere with the functions of the immune system.
- hinder assimilation of Omega-3 fatty acids
- are often associated with increases in asthma
- cause weight gain
- decrease fertility and promote cancer