Unsaturated fat can become more of a saturated fat when shortening or spreads are processed into their solid or semi-solid state from vegetable fat or any kind of an oil. One must change the stability of the oil when it's harden into a shortening. Thus, an unsaturated fat can then acquire a more saturated fat through the process of hydrogenation when the oil is harden.
The words "hydrogenated vegetable oil" on a food label means the oil has been changed into a higher amount of saturated fat than what the oil originally had. Many cakes, pastries, and all kinds of spreads are made this way. And because this process changes the fat into a more saturated fat is how it becomes more potentially harmful to the human body.
Many foods that are commercially fried are fried in vegetable shortening that have often been processed into a more saturated fat through this process of hydrogenation. It's not good for our weight or our health when most of the commercial food industry deep-fry in their highly saturated hydrogenated shortening just to make the food taste good. This kind of a vegetable oil which is processed into a more saturated fat causes many people to mistakenly believe the oil is better for them just because it's called "vegetable oil."
We also know that the more the fat becomes solid the more saturated fat it contains. This is the reason why butter and beef fat get hard when refrigerated. Lamb is so high in saturated fat that it gets hard at a much warmer temperature than what will harden up beef fat. Yet chicken and pork have less saturated fat and therefore those two do not harden up even when placed in the refrigerator.
The more we learn about the body the more we believe it's a fantastic miraculous machine that has the ability to produce its own cholesterol that the body needs. However, if you eat a diet rich in saturated fat you will be telling the body to make cholesterol that the body does not need.
There are many of us that are just not so sure that the extra cholesterol that we get from animal food is what really causes high levels of cholesterol in the human body. Of course a high amount of meat can increase the blood cholesterol levels, but for most of us our cholesterol gets out of control when we eat too much saturated fat. It might not be the eggs, as much as what the eggs are fried in... along with the fatty bacon and buttered toast.
And if you must fry in something please let it be olive oil because olive oil is believed to be the healthiest. There are some fast food restaurants that are trying to get away from using saturated fat, and therefore they have started to fry in hydrogenated oil, which is worse than frying with their saturated fat. We know high levels of trans-fat are in the shortening that is used for doughnuts, pies, hamburger rolls, and in all kinds of other processed foods. This is because the food industry is more interested in taste and prolonging the foods shelf life than it is with healthy eating.
Therefore when it comes to weight loss, it might be a good idea to stay away from yellow fat spreads, and watch out for the hardened canola and cottonseed oils that are also found in processed foods. Almost fifty percent of trans-fat can be found in oil that has been hardened, such as canola oil which is used for shortening to cook in. The problem with the french fries and foods that are labeled they are prepared in canola oil is that they do not tell us that the canola oil had been first hardened with a process that turned the oil into having a high amount of trans-fat. Many health-conscious people will choose such foods because they believe them to have been cooked in a superior oil.
Americans receive much of their saturated fat through margarines. When I was a little boy I would hear people say that the oils that margarines are made from do not contain high contents of saturated fat like the way butter does. What those people were not telling me is before oils are turned into a more spreadable food they must first be combined with a more saturated or trans-fat substance. Oil would still be an oil if a more saturated type fat was not in these butter products.
And don't even get me started on how many ways we use margarines on everything we cook or eat. I know just a couple of pads for the toast, a few more for the potato's, and a few more in the frying pan for cooking that we will not even count because those seem to disappear when melted... Right? And yes, this is only the first meal of the day. And then we look up towards heaven and wonder why at age 50 we are falling over with strokes and heart attacks.
I am not sure if it's necessary or even possible to remove all saturated fat from our food. However to obtain a more healthy diet, it would be a great idea to reduce the saturated fat intake that is drenched in hydrogenated oil. A good place to start would be the fast food industry, fried foods, butters, baked goods, pastries, and sweets.
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