Partially hydrogenated comes from mixing hydrogen into liquid oil to make it solid. This process is known as hydrogenation. Hydrogenated fat molecules contain trans fat which is harmful to your health and is regarded as the worse type of fat. These types of fat are known to increase cholesterol in the body making the body prone to heart disease.
Partially hydrogenated oils, however, are different from fully hydrogenated oils in that the later contains the least amount of
Many of the junk food we consume, i.e. cakes, crackers, etc. are made with hydrogenated oil. The use of partially hydrogenated oil in food industries has become popular because these oils can expand the life span of their products. Most of the trans-fat consumed by individuals occurs from the widespread use of partially hydrogenated oil.
WHY IS PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OIL BAD?
As previously noted partially hydrogenated fats contain trans fat which not only increases the bad (LDL) cholesterol but reduces the good (HDL) cholesterol. This dual effect on cholesterol increases a person’s risk of heart-related problems.
There is no nutritional value to be attained from partially hydrogenated oil. This is a processed product that only has commercial benefits such as keeping food stable.
WHERE IS PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OIL FOUND?
This ingredient can be found in food products with a long shelf life such as
HOW TO RECOGNIZE PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OIL ON A LABEL
Fortunately, products that contain this ingredient will list the words partially hydrogenated oils on the labels. It is important to note however that even if a product has stated to contain zero trans fat, it might contain low levels of it if partially hydrogenated oil is an ingredient. The law allows for less than 0.5 g of trans fat to be classified as zero trans fat.
The use of partially hydrogenated oils in the food industry is something that is very hard to eradicate. Health organizations have warned against the use of these oils for food production. The commercial benefits of using it mean greater profits on products with a longer shelf life.
Consumers must be aware and read labels to understand what their food contains. With heart disease being a global epidemic the presence of easy to obtain foods with partially hydrogenated oils is not helpful.