If you are noticing a rhyming theme today – good for you, hooray! 🙂
I must apologize up front for what I am about to post. It may blow your mind, and challenge some of your basic diet convictions. It’s pretty deep, (and a bit greasy), but I really feel I shouldn’t keep it from myself.
“Hydrogenation is the process that turns polyunsaturates, normal liquid at room temperature, into fats that are solid at room temperature – margarine and shortening. To produce them, manufacturers begin with the cheapest oils – soy, corn, cottonseed or canola, already rancid from the extraction process – and mix them with tiny metal particles – usually nickel oxide. The oil with its nickel catalyst is then subjected to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high-temperature reactor. Next, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed into the mixture to give it better consistency; the oil is yet again subjected to high temperatures when it is steam-cleaned. This removes its unpleasant odor. Margarine’s natural color, an unappetizing grey, is removed by bleach. Dyes and strong flavors must then be added to make it resemble butter. Finally, the mixture is compressed and packaged in blocks and tubs and sold as a health food.
On the other hand,
“Fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source or energy in the diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances. Fats as a part of a meal slow down nutrient absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E and K. Dietary fats are needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other processes…Butter added to vegetables and spread on bread, and cream added to soups and sauces, ensure proper assimilation of the minerals and water-soluble vitamins in vegetables, grains and meat….
Yet, hydrogenated fats continue to be promoted as health foods. The popularity of margarine and shortening over butter represents a triumph of advertising duplicity over common sense. Your best defense is to avoid them like the plague.”
That was just a few excerpts from my morning’s reading in the book “Nourishing Traditions”. There was a lot more information in the chapter on fats that discloses the fallacies of a “low fat” diet. Butter and naturally occurring fats are essential to our diet, and the substitutes are literally deadly over time. I highly recommend this book to anyone pursuing healthy diet choices. It’s full of information and great recipes, based on the nourishing traditions and common sense found in ancient diets.
P.S. sorry about all the different and too-small font sizes in this post. I should really quit trying to play around with them, eh? Also, the margarine photo (that I found through a random image search on google) that I used to illustrate this post is actually a link to another blog where the author is arguing for marg. in place of butter. Her reasoning was rather laughable after all the documented information I just digested in my book.