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Hydrogenated & Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Many European countries have either banned hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils altogether or have instituted future dates for elimination of their use in foods due to studies that link trans fatty acid (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil) consumption from processed foods to the development of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Hydrogenation of oils, with removal of essential fatty acids, is used in the food industry for the sole purpose of prolonging the shelf life of processed foods which maximizes their profits.
Hydrogenation is the process of heating an oil and passing hydrogen bubbles through it. The fatty acids in the oil then acquire some of the hydrogen, which makes it denser. If you fully hydrogenate, you create a solid (a fat) out of the oil. But if you stop part way, you create a semi-solid partially hydrogenated oil that has a consistency like butter, only cheaper.
Until the 1970’s, food producers used coconut oil. The American obesity epidemic began when it was replaced with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil - usually soybean oil.
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