Hydrogenated Oils and How They Destroy Your Health

Good morning everyone and happy Monday!

You may have noticed I wasn’t able to release a video these past two weeks—my apologies! I was traveling around Italy and surprised to find that internet reception was abysmal every single place we went. Whether a weak signal, not available in our rooms, or simply down, I was pretty much off the grid the entire time. It was disorienting yet liberating. This detachment from my normal everyday “reality” probably contributed to my decision to have pasta every single day, something I would never normally do. It was as if not being connected to my work and nutrition practice made my health choices not count—much like what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

What was interesting is that I didn’t gain any weight. If I ate pasta in a New York City restaurant every day, I can guarantee that I would pack on the pounds faster than Simone Biles can nail a perfect vault! It’s true that I walked, hiked, and danced a lot in Italy, but I’m also very active at home. So what was at play here? Why such a big difference?

It comes down to ingredients.

Italy is known for it’s splendid cuisine the world over. It’s not just the delicious truffles, pomodoro, pesto, and carbonara recipes, but the quality of the ingredients that make the food so outstanding. Everything is fresh and homemade from local ingredients, often found in the restaurant’s backyard.

In so many other parts of the world, especially America, our food is either manufactured in a plant or shipped in from far away. We’ve moved far away from fresh, local ingredients. Heck, so many of us barely ever cook at home. What this means is that we are taking in additional ingredients that are used to artificially enhance flavor or increase shelf life, and there is no more dangerous ingredient to your health than hydrogenated oils.

These fats, also known as partially hydrogenated or trans fats are found in most manufactured foods, and they contribute to a whole host of health concerns from obesity to depression to heart disease. And what’s more is that they can be hard to spot, even if you’re being mindful of your food purchases.

In today’s video I am going to share what you need to know about these dangerous oils, and offer tips on how to avoid them. I’ll also offer you healthy substitutes so you can make some of your favorite foods from scratch at home.

Once you’ve watched the video I really want to hear from you! Examine your pantry and the foods in your refrigerator, and check out the ingredients of every manufactured or pre-made item you buy. See if you can find these oils, and then let me know in the comments below. I’ll bet even the most discerning shopper will be shocked to find some of these fats in his or her kitchen.

Thank you for tuning in as always. I wish you the happiest of Mondays!

Share Your Thoughts...

12 comments on “Hydrogenated Oils and How They Destroy Your Health

  1. AvatarLouise DiSclafani

    I started reading labels a long time ago and do most of my cooking so more control of my diet. My salad dressing is a “vinegar” with top rated extra virgin olive oil. My one “bad” item is potato chips, what can I say, I like them. But even there I try to buy the healthier ones that are using better oils. And I almost never eat out anymore. If someone invites me, I try to keep everything as simple as possible.

    I found Mary’sGoneCrackers…totally healthy everything and produced in their own nut free facility…for anyone who is allergic to peanuts and nuts, this is a god-send.

    1. AvatarBarbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

      That’s great Louise! I have the occasional potato chip when I travel to England. Somehow there, like in Italy, I feel less guilty about it 🙂
      Mary’s Gone Crackers are my favorite too! Glad to know you are doing so well!

  2. AvatarMonique

    HI Barbara,
    Several people in my family are allergic to coconut in all forms-what is a good substitution in baking? We do not like the taste of olive oil in baked goods.
    Enjoy your program as always

    1. AvatarBarbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

      Sadly there aren’t a lot of substitutes for coconut oil other than butter and lard, neither of which are great. If you can get organic, grass fed butter that’s probably your best option… and bake less if possible 🙂

  3. AvatarLoretta Brumfield

    I don’t even have to look in my cabinet …I know I have some of those things…I will be getting rid of them as I have been eating healthier these day…and want to get rid of inflammation in my body…taking Omega XL…thanks Barbara

  4. AvatarGyeung-hoon Cho

    Thank you Barbara for recomending 5 healthy oils.
    My oil of choice is coconut oil. And we Koreans use sesame oil a lot.
    How about perilla oil? I know it has healthy omega-3 fatty acid whereas sesame oil has omega-6.
    And… Though canned tuna is not healthy, if I have to choose, how about flax seed oil fried tuna can?

    1. AvatarBarbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

      Hi Gyeung-hoon~ Perilla oils appears to be good for asthma and has some anti-inflammatory benefits. You can add it to food to enhance nutrition. As for “flax seed oil fried tuna”, I’m not familiar with it, but flax oil should not be fried. When it is, it can create free radical damage and have adverse effects. Better to occasionally have some tuna (infrequently) and add a little fresh flax oil to it.
      I hope this helps!

  5. AvatarLori Russell

    Crackers can be a challenge when trying to avoid hydrogenated oils. I found one called 34 Degrees Crisps that do not list any oils. Is that a good one ?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *