Many oils are processed in a manner that destroys some of the essential fats or changes them to another chemical form that is not useful to the body.
This form is called trans fat.
Oils are vulnerable to oxidation, heat and light and thus to rancidity. That became a problem for the food manufacturers. They had to find a way to avoid this problem. They have developed methods of processing that allow the oil to be store more longer and resistant to heat. These methods consist in heating the oil with a solvent. Then, the oil is exposed to semitoxic and toxic metals (such as nickel and aluminium) and sometimes bleached and deodorized with the use of chemical products.
The problem is that during the process, EFA are destroyed. The cis position they used to have changed in a trans position.
The trans fatty acids act in our body as if they were saturated fats. They lower your "good" cholesterol and increase your "bad" cholesterol.
We have the same situation with margarines. Through the process of hydrogenation, food manufacturers add hydrogen to the oil's double bonds, which gives the oil higher melting point. The final product is cheaper, has a creamy consistency and a longer life.
This occurs in all processed and refined foods, deep-fat fried foods, commercial bakeries, crackers, canned soups and foods...
If you want a quality oil, rich in EFA and devoid of trans fatty acids you have to read the labels.
Choose an oil which has not been heated and for which no chemicals have been used for the extraction.
The oil has to be FIRST COLD PRESSED.
Realized by Laurence LIVERNAIS-SAETTEL, dietetian
© Copyright L. Livernais-Saettel 2000
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