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Just Say

Orange Icon  Just Say "No" to Hydrogenated Oils

Orange Icon  Just Say "No" to Hydrogenated Oils

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I don't want you to just lose weight.

Don't get me wrong, I want you to lose those extra pounds and achieve the goals you've been working towards, but I want you to do more than watch the number on the scale get smaller and smaller. I want you to be really healthy. I want you to be able to make smart, healthy choices for your family for the rest of your life.

I've realized, as I've coached thousands of people on their journey to healthfulness, that to be really healthy, people need to know certain foods are good for them and what's so bad about the foods they should stay away from. When something tastes as good as a chocolate-chip cookie, you need to give people a good reason to stay away from it. And often "it's bad for you" just isn't enough.

One of the things I'm most adamant about is that everyone dedicated to a healthy lifestyle clear their kitchens of hydrogenated oil. It's absolutely toxic and will seriously complicate your efforts to reach your weight-loss goals.

Basically, all oils are derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are great for you - both Omega-3s and Omega-6s are PUFAs. Unfortunately, polyunsaturated fatty acids don't have a very long shelf life. That's why food manufacturers, looking to maximize their profits, turn to hydrogenation, a process that converts polyunsaturated fatty acids into saturated fats that will last longer on grocery store shelves.

Unfortunately, the process of hydrogenation can also create trans fat, a type of fat with absolutely no nutritional value that can cause serious damage to your body. Trans fats have been linked to heart disease, increased LDL cholesterol, and weight gain.

But even if your hydrogenated oil is trans-fat free (and don't be sure it is - labels can be tricky), cooking with hydrogenated oil can be dangerous. As I've mentioned before, all oils have different cooking temperatures. (One of the reasons I'm such a fan of coconut oil is its high heating temperature.) If a hydrogenated oil is heated beyond its appropriate temperature, its chemical composition breaks down, creating free radicals that wreak havoc on your body and cause any number of ailments, including cancer.

When you consider how versatile coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil are, there's no reason to risk cooking with hydrogenated oils. Changing your oil may alter the taste of your dish slightly, but it's a small price to pay to remain healthy in the long term.