Let's Get Clean ~ Hydro-what?

I don't know about you, but I am constantly reading nutrition facts & information labels, especially the ingredients list. I find it rather amusing trying to pronounce most of the words that are listed; but I also find it extremely scary! In my opinion, the United States has been on a track of unhealthy living for the past several decades. We live such busy lives, that 'fast & easy' has become our motto. Set aside the fast food industry, even our grocery stores carry "5 minute meals", in a box!

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a "5 minute meal" if you know what in fact you are eating. Take for instance the common ingredient in most processed foods: hydrogenated fat. These fats allow foods such as crackers, cookies, pasta & rice mixes, breads, and chips to sit on a shelf & still retain their "freshness". I don't know about you, but eating a cracker years after it is produced just does not sound appetizing!

Hydrogenated fats are produced when regular fat (like corn oil or palm oil) is injected with hydrogen gas at a high heat & then ultimately mixed with a metal catalyst (like zinc, nickel, or copper). What this does is alter the regular fat's chemical structure, turning it from a liquid to a semi-solid structure. The ultimate result of this process: trans fat.

So what does this mean for your health? Well hydrogenated fats increase your LDL (bad cholesterol) & your triglycerides, while lowering your HDL (good cholesterol). This combination of increasing LDL's & lowering HDL's could lead to coronary heart disease. Regular consumption of trans fats could ultimately lead to hardening of your arteries, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, & Alzheimer's.

Here's a Get Clean Challenge for you: begin eliminating foods from your diet that include ingredients with the word "hydrogenated". If you already avoid these foods, then kudos to you! I'd love to hear about your experience.

Tip: If your favorite food lists a 'hydrogenated' ingredient, try checking in the organic section of your grocery store. Most times there is an organic version. The cost may be more, but wouldn't you rather pay $2 to $5 more now, rather than pay $1000's in doctor & medical bills later having to correct / stabilize the damage done to your health?

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