Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hydrogenation

Hydrogenation is a chemical process that adds hydrogen atoms to unsaturated oil. In food production it is used to keep fat from becoming rancid. This process takes normally liquid at room temperature polyunsaturates into a solid at room temperature. Cheap oils, which are already rancid from the extraction process, are then mixed with metal particles. The oil is then subject to the hydrogen at high temperatures and high pressure. Then starch and soap type emulsifiers are added to give it a "good" consistency. The oil is then steam cleaned at a high temperature. To make it into margarine it then needs to be bleached to remove the unappetizing gray color. Then dyes and artificial flavors are added. This process changes the molecular composition of the oil. Before this process the hydrogen atoms occur together on the chain allowing the chain to bend. At the bend electrons are concentrated. This is a natural formation in nature. After hydrogenation one of the hydrogen atoms moves to the other side to straighten the molecule. This makes this into a toxin. Your body doesn't recognize it as a toxin, unfortunately, and doesn't eliminate it. They become part of your fat cells. So in turn, your cells become partially hydrogenated. This interrupts cell metabolism with the electrons disturbed and the chemical reaction can't take place. In the 40's a link between cancer and the consumption of fat was found. Until recently, saturated fats and trans fats were lumped together. It is now knows that it is the trans fats that cause the biggest problems. In addition it can also cause obesity, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, birth defects, immune problems, sterility, bad vision, lactation problems, bone issues. Not only should you not eat margarine but read labels and avoid any item containing partially hydrogenated oils.

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