Ever look at pictures of people that were taken before 1970? You will probably be able to notice something different about them if you compare them with pictures of people today. They are not fat, and almost all of them look healthy. How many people do you see on a daily basis today that look really healthy?
Were our parents or grandparents exercising more than us? Did they have better exercise science? Did they work harder than we do? Were they taking special weight loss products we don't have today? Why in the world do they all look so healthy and skinny?
It all has to do with the type of fat they were consuming in their diet. Food was not altered then and everybody ate natural and organic foods, that is all there was. I don't know when or why it happened, but gradually food companies started looking for and began using cheaper ways of manufacturing food to increase their profit.
Thanks to the food companies, we get to eat all kinds of preservatives and unnatural fats they put in the food to give it a longer shelf life, this saves us a little money, makes the food companies a lot of money, and makes us fat and unhealthy. Then the food companies even figured out to somehow trick us into believing that things like margarine are better for us than actual butter.
When did we start believing major, publicly traded corporations could outsmart nature? I guess television advertisements and marketing can really mess with people's perceptions.
What is natural fat? There are three kinds of naturally occurring, "good" fats, to be aware of. They are saturated fats (butter, animal fats), poly-unsaturated fats (fish oils, vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil), and mono-unsaturated fats (olive oil, nut oils,).
These "good" fats help give us energy, keep us warm by cushioning organs, keep our brain, nerves, skin and hair healthy. They also aid in cell division, growth and repair.
Obviously if you eat too much "good fats" you can gain weight, and raise your cholesterol, but overall they are very good for you. Use your common sense and follow a healthy diet. Also get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked once a year by a certified health care provider.
NOTE: As you read this next section please keep in mind that poly-unsaturated fats (oils) are very reactive and literally "go bad" or turn "toxic" very quickly when exposed to heat, oxygen or light.
As we process our food, unfortunately we extract natural oils that are found in fruits, nuts and seeds. How are those oils extracted? (Remember to keep the above note in mind).
The seeds are crushed and heated to extremely high temperatures. They use pressure to squeeze the oil out, this generates even more heat. The oil is then exposed to oxygen and light and treated with solvents (vitamin E is destroyed during this process).
Often two toxic substances are added to the oils as a preservative. So the result of all of this; rotten, or toxic oil is extracted out for further processing.
However, there are a couple of safe alternatives that are being used to extract natural oils. They are expeller-pressed or cold pressed processing, which extracts the natural oils under low temperature and with minimal light and oxygen exposure. Most of the oils in packaged food available at your local health food store use the expeller pressing method.
Back to the toxic processing. After the (bad) oils are extracted they are often put through a hydrogenation process, this is usually done, once again, to extend a product's shelf life. Liquid oils go through this process to turn them into fats that are solid at room temperature (margarine).
During this process the oils are subject to starch, hydrogen gas, steam cleaning (to remove the 'bad' odor ), and are usually bleached for color. Yes I said bleached!
I bet you did not know that margarine's natural color is grey, not a creamy yellow like butter. That is why they bleach it, so it looks like butter.
What type of fat we are left with for consumption after all that processing? Trans fats.
Another negative side effect of the hydrogenation process is that the natural fat's molecular formation is altered. The altered formation, which is rarely found in nature is called a trans-formation, hence the name trans fats. I was never the best science student so I am not going to explain all of this in detail, it would get too confusing.
I'll tell you what you need to know. The potential health dangers of hydrogenated products and trans fats. They have been shown to increase your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol levels, have been suspected to cause cancer and heart disease, and cause an increase in body weight.
What foods contain hydrogenated vegetable oil and trans fats? Most of the food in the aisles at your grocery store (prepared, packaged, instant foods). All margarines, most salad dressings, bread, cereal, cookies, baked foods, donuts, pies etc. are also loaded with hydrogenated oils and trans fats.
Please check the labels and ingredients of the food you buy. This will help you recognize what products are made with hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Do your best to eliminate as much of them from your diet as possible.
Think of your body like a Porsche; would you put cheap gas in a Porsche? What if you put "bad" oil into it? How would it drive?
How much money would it cost you later on when many mechanical problems start to go wrong because of it running on cheap gas its whole life? How much money would you be paying to mechanics to see your maltreated Porsche again and again every year?
If you would not treat your car this way, then why in the world would you put toxic food into your body?