WTF: Hydrogenated Oils
It all started when I jumped on the scale solely for the purpose to learn how to use the body composition analysis scale at the gym where I train clients. I knew I wasn’t 12% body fat, but when the scale said I was 28.4% body fat, I damn near fell over from shock. I played it off like, “Yeah, sure… how accurate are these things anyways?” I wasn’t fooling anyone.
Now I have a complex and think I’m overweight.
As I perused my emails, my buddy, Ben Greenfield, sent an email with the subject: “the secret key to fat loss + 5 ways you can get lean fast.” In my fragile state, I eagerly clicked to open the email, waiting for the epiphany for losing this 28.4% body fast ASAP.
Essentially, inflammation is making us fat. Greenfield said to decrease the inflammation in your body, which will decrease the insulin, and then this causes fat cells to die off or convert to other cells. Avoid rancid oils, processed oils, heavily heated oils. Choose natural oils like extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and extra virgin avocado oil.
What is hydrogenated or refined oil?
LiveSTRONG defined hydrogenation and trans fat as:
“Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils whose chemical structure has been altered to prevent rancidity in foods, which increases shelf life and saves money for food manufacturers. The process of hydrogenation involves the addition of hydrogen atoms to the oil's available double bonds. As the level of hydrogenation increases, the level of saturated fat increases and the level of unsaturated fat decreases. The hydrogenation process converts what are known as “cis” double bonds to “trans” double bonds. This is where the term “trans fat” originates. Hydrogenation also has the technical advantage of making foods solid or partially solid at room temperature.”
When an oil is hydrogenated, the healthy fats are converted into trans fat.
Happily Unprocessed define refined oil as oil that’s been “refined by using chemicals that are harmful to us.” What kind of chemicals? Acid, alkali, bleach, and Hexane. You can read how oil gets refined here.
Why hydrogenated/refined oils are no bueno
Trans fats really screw you over. They increase bad cholesterol (LDL) while also decreasing good cholesterol (HDL). They increase inflammation in your body and have been linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Inflammation, as we’ve learned from Ben also makes you fat. So, not only are you increasing your chances of having some shitty disease, but you’re also getting fat.
How to avoid them
Read nutrition and ingredients label. Companies do not have to list trans fats if there is less than .5 grams of trans fat per serving. Instead, companies will list “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” which means there’s totally trans fat in the food.
Eat food that doesn’t have a nutrition label, or if it does, you can pronounce all the ingredients.
List of oils & hydrogenated foods
• Vegetable oil
• Soybean oil
• Canola oil
• Corn oil
• Safflower oil
• Sunflower oil
• Baked and processed foods
o Frozen foods
o French fries