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Never Eat These FrankenFats

Never Eat These FrankenFats

Thank God! Trans fats are banned at last.  But they are still in our foods, so beware!

Recently, the FDA issued a ban on all trans fats, deeming them unsafe for human consumption, and it’s about time!  For more than 20 years, the science has shown these fake FrankenFats to be hazardous to our health.  Thankfully, the government has finally caught on.

Trans fat was invented for use in margarine and shortening.  But do you know why they call it shortening?  Because it shortens your life!  It was supposed to be a better butter, but in fact, it’s worse.  Did you know that if you put butter and margarine side by side, flies will land on the butter but they won’t land on the margarine?  It’s just too toxic for them.  The trans fat it’s made from is an oddly shaped fat that:

  • Slows your metabolism
  • Causes weight gain
  • Increases inflammation
  • Lowers your good cholesterol
  • Raises your bad cholesterol
  • Causes diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, cancer, and inflammation

The first step in getting trans fats out of our food supply was the change in food labeling laws.  Food manufacturers actually had to put the amount of trans fat in their junk food on the label. But there was a loophole created by food industry lobbyists that allowed them to hide the trans fats.  They ONLY had to notify consumers that their product contained trans fat if it was greater than half a gram per serving.  If something says zero trans fat, it can still have lots of trans fats.

Take, for example, whipped topping like Cool Whip.  The label says zero trans fat, but if you look closer, you’ll see it says water and partially hydrogenated fat and high fructose corn syrup.  Well, partially hydrogenated fat is trans fat.  But because the law states that you can say zero trans fat on the label if there is less than half a gram per serving, they can put zero trans fats.  Since most people don’t know that hydrogenated fat and trans fat are the same thing, food makers have been able to hide the trans fat content in plain sight using this little trick.

Finally, the FDA has officially declared trans fats to be unsafe and has banned their use.  And you know that when the FDA stands up to the powerful the food industry lobby, it’s got to be bad.

So, you really don’t want to eat anything made with trans or hydrogenated fats.  The purpose of trans fat is to prolong the shelf life of the food.  It never goes rancid.  You can make pie crust out of shortening even if it has been sitting in the cupboard for 30 years.  You know why they call it shortening?  It shortens your life.  Flies won’t even land on it if you leave it out on the counter!

It is hidden in almost all convenience food and fried foods:

  • microwave popcorn
  • cupcakes
  • cookies
  • donuts
  • many fried foods
  • pizza
  • baked foods
  • frozen foods

And don’t just look at the trans fat content of the food; look on the label for the word hydrogenated, and make sure it doesn’t have that on it.  This one simple thing will improve your diet and upgrade the quality of the food you eat.  You’ll feel better and you’ll be healthier for it.

So, now I’d like to hear from you.  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the FDA’s trans fat ban.  Have you eliminated foods made with trans or hydrogenated fats?  Has this improved your health?  Let me know.  And if you’d like to receive this newsletter each week, sign up on my website.  Share it with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook and send me your questions, so that, next week, I may make a House Call to you.

Learn more:
Health Foods That Are Dangerous for Your Health
How Malnutrition Causes Obesity
10 Rules To Eat Safely for Life (and What To Remove from Your Kitchen)

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (13)

  • Another loophole I found while looking at labels in the grocery store. I knew about the ban on trans-fats and saw shelves full of Crisco shortening. I wondered how that could be. So I picked up the can and read the label. Its says very boldly that it contains no trans-fats! Upon reading the ingredients list I found instead of “partially” hydrogenated fat it, contains “fully” hydrogenated fat! I guess that means that a “trans”itinal fat is partially hydrogenated, but a fully hydrogenated fat is OK?! That has got to be “FrankenFat’s Daddy”!
    So buyer beware! and read the labels!

  • Thank you for fighting this fight Dr. Hyman. It is truly a large battle to actually win ANY fight with the FDA to actually qualify something unhealthy calling it “unsafe for human consumption”! Wow, never thought I’d see the day……. People do need to know that there’s still such a shadiness in wording for sure. Flies can’t read but they instinctively know that’s something’s terribly wrong with margarine! I use this kind of method a lot myself, for instance, when ants avoid something “sweet”, that’s also an inedible sugar substitute. They are instantly alerted that it is not a food source for them.

    People need to know that “hydrogenated”, “homogenized” and “chlorinated” are the 3 things that scar arteries and lead to all kinds of heart issues. I’m not a doctor but have done my own mega research as a result of having undiagnosed Lyme disease at 7 years of age. That was 39 years ago when there was no name for this disease and I was not satisfied with it being named “Bizarre” accompanied by several question marks. And calling it a closed case meant I was on my own. Thankfully I was given antibiotics then as I was paralyzed from it.

    The study that this thrust me into was like opening Pandora’s proverbial box! This is out there for everyone to see IF they would just look and yet…….. it should be illegal to paste the stamp “Okay” on anything that causes sickness or death as a result of consumption.

    Again, thank you for your efforts. Indeed they will and do pay off 🙂
    Stephanie Rose

  • Very helpful post. This was exactly the information I really need this information. I will follow all the instructions. I actually enjoyed while reading it. Thanks for sharing this

  • ALSO, VERY concerning are the health damaging common cooking oils that are NOT partially hydrogenated/ trans fats, and therefore APPEAR to be safe, namely “Pure” Canola Oil, “Pure” Vegetable Oil, etc… These oils are so highly refined they are not recognized by human cells and can cause serious health damage over time. Most people will continue eating THESE frankenfats long after hydrogenated/ trans fats are phased out.

    To avoid frankenfats, ingredient labels MUST specify expeller pressed, cold pressed or mechanically pressed. And if you want to avoid GMO’s, canola, corn and soy must be organic.

    Equally concerning is the number of health conscious people who unknowingly oxidize their olive oil by cooking at too high temperatures. EVOO oxidizes (reaches its smoke point) at around 325 degrees becoming a health damaging fat. And in this day of food fraud, if you want to be absolutely sure it’s REAL olive oil, buy certified organic. Your health is worth it!

    Dr. Hyman, I am a huge follower, I own four of your phenomenal books, and have bought several to give away. I tell people if they are going to read ONE book, make it a book by Dr. Mark Hyman. Please comment on these other health damaging fats. And please, please include this information in any new books or revised existing books you publish.

    Thank you Dr. Hyman!

  • This article was very informative. Did you know that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) was the lobbying organization behind getting the food labels on our foods. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They publish a wonderful newsletter called “Nutrition Action” that has other good information about the food industry’s bad foods and good foods and the science behind all of it. So, if you like what Dr. Hyman says, you may also find this source very interesting.

    I have tried the Ultra Simple Diet. It is very simple and you feel so healthy when you are eating so many vegetables and no sugar.

    I have eliminated high fructose corn syrup from my house so that my kids can learn about healthy eating. It’s not easy to do that – BarBQ sauce was hard to find…..

  • Great information, I’ve been educating on this for years and so glad the FDA is awake to this issue. Now into the next, GMO’s. How many people will become sick from our food supply before the FDA takes on the agriculture industry (ie: Monsanto)?

  • Hi Doctor, wish you have these videos or articles in Spanish to share with my ill Dad! he will listen to a man 😉

  • It is amassing that its called new discovery, this shit has been illegal for decades in Europe for the same reason, so why is it first now getting attention here ?? and the same food companies that is filling your food with that kind of poison here sell the same products in Europe – just without the Trans fat.

  • Now we need the studies that combined saturated fat with trans (hydrogenated) fats to either separate them or redo the studies. Good real food stable saturated fats like tallow from grass fed beef and lard from pastured pork have been given a bad rap by combining them with chemically processed trans fats.