One of the most important things you can do to improve you or your child’s ability to learn is to change your oil. If, like many Americans, you eat a lot of packaged or fast food, you may be eating too much harmful trans fat.
A trans fat is a made by an industrial process that adds hydrogen atoms to unsaturated fat to form a saturated fat. In other words it turns liquid vegetable oil into solid fat. This process is called hydrogenation. It increases the shelf life of packaged foods and imparts a creamy texture. You can find out if the food you eat contains trans fats by looking for the words partially hydrogenated in the list of ingredients.
The problem with industrial hydrogenation is that it doesn’t put the hydrogen atoms in the same place that nature does. This causes hydrogenated oils to act differently from their natural counterparts. Research shows a number of problems caused by trans fats:
o Lowers HDL “good cholesterol” and increased LDL “bad cholesterol”
o Linked to heart disease in a study of 85,000 women
o Reduces the liver’s ability to detoxify drugs and cancer causing chemicals
o Decreases sensitivity of cells to insulin, leading to insulin resistance and diabetes
o Lowers breast milk volume in women and in all species studied
o Increases inflammation and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma
o Causes immune system dysfunction in mice
o Worsens essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency by interfering with their metabolism. Important symptoms of EFA deficiency include problems with vision and learning, coordination problems, behavioral changes and mental illness.
So what oil do you change to? Cook with grape seed oil. It keeps it nutritional value at all cooking temperatures. Use extra virgin olive oil on salads and to flavor foods, but don’t heat it beyond low heat or it will lose its nutritional value. Most importantly, read labels and avoid anything made with hydrogenated oil.
She teaches whole foods nutrition and holistic living online. Visit University Of Masters [http://www.universityofmasters.com/amember/go.php?r=278&l=uggc%3A%2F%2Fjjj.havirefvglbsznfgref.pbz] for information about her courses. Please enter “DRKLUG” in the referral box when you enroll. She authors the monthly column “The Doctor Cooks” for the Kansas City Wellness Magazine. The Doctors Cooks Weblog is now online with past articles, menus, recipes, tips and other resources. Please subscribe!