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Trans fats - To Margarine or not to Margarine? That's the question.

 
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DataRyder
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Joined: 14 Nov 2004
Posts: 92
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2005 12:50 pm    Post subject: Trans fats - To Margarine or not to Margarine? That's the question. Reply with quote

For years we've been using mono unsaturated oils such as olive, canola and sunflower seed oils in the vast majority of our cooking and diet. But sometimes things just taste a little better with a little butter.

13 years ago in an effort to become a little more conscious of what we were eating we made the switch from butter and started to use margarine. (This was before I was aware of anyone was discussing trans fats and hydrogenated oils.) Soon after I started getting **severe** heartburn. I endured for several months because we didn't make a connection. Finally in an attempt to isolate the problem we went back to butter. The heartburn stopped.

In the last few years there's been a lot of discussion about hydrogenated oils and trans fats and the harmful trans fatty acids they produce in our bodies. With all of this, I know that many of us are reading labels at the grocery store, looking for partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable margarine, and vegetable shortening.

I bring this up because in the news this morning I heard there is a call by some for all Toronto restaurants to stop using trans fats. In part this is due to a story coming out of New York City.

Quote:
In a letter to all of its 20,000-plus restaurants, New York City's health department has urged it eateries to stop serving foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil, better known as trans fat, the component that health experts say increases the likelihood of heart disease. [...]
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8974057/


In searching the internet for more information on trans fats; where they come from, in what food they're found etc., I came across this. It's pretty funny. It's a little like a scene in the movie "Super Size Me" in which food items from MacDonalds don't deteriorate with time. I don't know if any of this is true

Quote:
[...]

HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC. This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

You can try this yourself: Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things: * no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something) * it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny micro organisms will not find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?
http://www.englishforums.com/English/MargarineVsButter/bbbzh/Post.htm


For more on the benefits/risks for both margarine and butter see:
http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/butter.htm
http://www.cce.cornell.edu/food/fdharchives/070899/butter.html

Still, all said and done, given my heartburn difficulty; no tupperware for me please! happy

DataRyder


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Barbara
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Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 353
Location: Eastern Canada

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Professional Loller

PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2005 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Trans fats - To Margarine or not to Margarine? That's the question. Reply with quote

DataRyder wrote:

Quote:
[...]

HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC. This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

You can try this yourself: Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things: * no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something) * it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny micro organisms will not find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?
http://www.englishforums.com/English/MargarineVsButter/bbbzh/Post.htm


...

Still, all said and done, given my heartburn difficulty; no tupperware for me please! happy

DataRyder


No Tupperware for me either - ewww. We use Becel margarine. According to its specs, it is

  • Low in saturated fat
  • Non-hydrogenated (free of trans fat)
  • Cholesterol free because it's made from vegetable oil
  • A balanced source of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat
  • A good source of Vitamin E and an excellent source of Vitamin D
  • A source of Omega 3 fatty acids


I found the "one molecule away from plastic" article on a site that warns against believing chain letters. http://www.breakthechain.org/exclusives/margarine.html.

Quote:

The final argument in the letter above is what has make it so popular, but is also the farthest from reality and preys on the lay man's general ignorance of chemistry. It is not true that margarine is "but ONE MOLECULE from being PLASTIC." Many items in nature are chemically similar to one another, but that doesn't make them similar in appearance or effect. For instance hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is "but one molecule from" water (H2O), but I don't recommend drinking it. Similarly, Ozone (03) is "but one molecule from" oxygen (O2), but the former can create serious respiratory distress, while the latter can alleviate it.


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llizard (aka ejm)
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Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 548
Location: Canada

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Come to Life. Come to Laziness.

PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2005 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC


It has been eons since I studied chemical formulae, but hmmm, aren't there plenty of innocuous substances that are just one molecule away from being lethal?

It's too bad the person felt the need to use a slightly spurious argument. It makes it sound like a hoax.

edit 19 August: I just noticed that you posted about that very thing, blm. When I replied, there was only the one post from DataRyder (I must have opened the page earlier and then replied without refreshing the page.)

Having said that, I too am firmly opposed to margarine. I can't stand the look of it and I loathe the taste. "Just like better"?? I DON'T think so....

Barbara of "Tigers and Strawberries" also blogged about this same thing the other day after hearing about New York City's health department asking for all city restaurants to voluntarily give up using trans fats in their cooking:
Barbara of 'tigers and strawberries' wrote:
However, lard is not as bad as we have been led to believe. [...] slightly healthier fat profile than butter--it isn't hard and solid, even when refrigerated, the way butter is. It has less saturated fat than butter--and saturated fat is what makes a fat solid at room temperature.


Read the whole article:
http://tigerberries.blogspot.com/2005/08/lard.html


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