I am about to become a complete nutritional fanatic. I'm already heading towards a Howard Hughes-like germophobia and now this!
While redesigning our diets, Steve and I have been learning about partially hydrogenated oils. Do you know that every time you eat a PHO, you might as well just drink poison? And they're in EVERYTHING!
Besides the biggie, heart disease, studies are finding links with PHOs to other major health concerns like:
* Alzheimer's Disease: A study published in Archives of Neurology in February 2003 suggested that the intake of both trans fats and saturated fats promote the development of Alzheimer disease.
* Cancer: There is no scientific consensus that consumption of trans fats significantly increases cancer risks across the board. The American Cancer Society states that a relationship between trans fats and cancer "has not been determined." However, one recent study has found connections between trans fat and prostate cancer. An increased intake of trans-fatty acids may raise the risk of breast cancer by 75 per cent, suggest the results from the French part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
* Diabetes: There is a growing concern that the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with trans fat consumption. However, consensus has not been reached. For example, one study found that risk is higher for those in the highest quartile of trans fat consumption. Another study has found no diabetes risk once other factors such as total fat intake and BMI were accounted for.
* Liver Dysfunction: Trans fats are metabolized differently by the liver than other fats and interfere with delta 6 desaturase. Delta 6 desaturase is an enzyme involved in converting essential fatty acids to arachidonic acid and prostaglandins, both of which are important to the functioning of cells.
* Infertility: One 2007 study found, "Each 2% increase in the intake of energy from trans unsaturated fats, as opposed to that from carbohydrates, was associated with a 73% greater risk of ovulatory infertility".
PHOs (also known as trans fats) are in many convenience foods and commercially prepared baked goods.
I say this, not to beat you over the head and insist that you become a nutritional fanatic, but so that you'll know. With Steve's health the way it is, we just can't afford to not pay attention.
Next up: Gluten!