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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (
Date: August 10, 2007 at 8:24 am PST

In Reply to: Re: VEGSOURCE TALK QUESTION posted by Stan B. on August 10, 2007 at 8:02 am:


>>I am still puzzled why do you have to exlude natural
unprocessed saturated fats such as tropical oils?

See below article I wrote..(and I will post a second article also)

>>Have you ever thought of the possibility that the saturated fats
may have been wrongly accused by the commercial vegetable oil
producers to kill their direct competitors: animal and dairy fats
together with the imported tropical oils with a single stroke?

No, but then again, I am still tring to figure out who killed Kennedy
and if we really landed on the moon or not. :)

In Health

The Oiling Of America: Bye Bye Trans Fat, Hello Palm Oil!

Responding to the Food and Drug Administration's order to
disclose the amount of unhealthy trans fats on food labels by
January 2006, food companies are racing to get rid of trans fats in
their products. There are now, for example, "trans-fat-free" Oreos,
Fritos, and Cocoa Puffs.

While many think this may be good news, its not.

The bad news: Many companies are replacing trans fats with palm
oils and other high-in-saturated-fat tropical oils that are almost as
heart-damaging as trans fats. Kraft, for instance, is using palm oil
for the filling in its three trans-fat-free Oreo cookie varieties,
reported The New York Times in February.

Yes, Trans Fats Are the Worst Kind Of Fat

Trans fats are man-made fats that were originally liquid oils but
through hydrogenation (adding hydrogen to vegetable oils) become
solid. In ingredient lists, foods with trans fats are usually listed as
having "partially hydrogenated vegetable oils" like soybean,
cottonseed, or canola. Numerous studies are now finding that trans
fats not only raise LDL bad cholesterol but also lower HDL good
cholesterol, prompting scientists nationwide to deride them as the
worst kind of fat.

But Palm Oil Is a Horrible Alternative

But replacing them with palm oil and other tropical oils like
coconut oil and palm kernel oil? "This is nuts!" "All these tropical
oils are highly saturated fats. Like butter, cheese, and meat,
tropical oils raise LDL cholesterol and clog arteries with plaque,
increasing your risk of a heart attack."

Coconut oil is getting promoted on the web, internet and even the
health food industry, saying its healthy because most of its fat is
made up of "medium" chain fatty acids (MCT), which are
metabolized differently.

Yes, it is true that a small portion of coconut oil is MCT (C-6 to
C-10 fatty acids) and these do get oxidized more quickly and
appear less fattening than LCT and also appear to have little impact
on LDL-C levels. However, because the vast majority of saturated
fatty acids in cocnut oil are the longer cain fatty acids, C-12 to
C-16 (Lauric, myristic and palmitic acids) it does in fact elevate
LDL-C. "In fact, tropical oils can have more cholesterol-raising
saturated fat than even butter. Coconut oil is 92% saturated,
making it more saturated than butter, beef tallow, or even lard.
Palm oil, though it contain less saturated fat (50%), is full of a type
of saturated fat, palmitic acid, which appears to be most conducive
to heart disease. Because of cocnut oils extremely high saturated
fat content, it will elevate LDL-C more than just about any other
fat. You just can't believe everything you read on the internet.

In addition, the coconut oil industry likes to point out that the
traditional Polynesian diet - high in tropical oils like coconut - is
linked with relatively low rates of heart disease.

"However, it's important to remember that heart disease involves
several variables," "Yes, studies of people on traditional Polynesian
diets have found that they have relatively low rates from heart
disease despite very high LDL cholesterol levels, but other aspects
of their native lifestyle are very healthful, and probably help
counteract the cholesterol-raising effect of the coconut fat. Their
traditional diet, for example, is very high in dietary fiber and heart-
healthy omega 3 fatty acids, and very low in sodium. Historically,
native Polynesians also tended to be nonsmokers, and were
physically very active. All these factors would certainly promote
heart health."

Artery Cloggers

Ironically, it was health concerns over tropical oils in the 1980s
that helped spur food manufacturers to use more trans fats in the
first place. "Now we're going BACK to tropical oils?. "We're trading
one artery-clogger for another?!"

Also outraged are nonprofit organizations, like Center for Science
in the Public Interest (CSPI) in Washington, D.C., which complained
to the FDA in August that some food labels, specifically Newman's
Own, are leading Americans to believe that palm oil is significantly
more healthful than trans fats. CSPI urged the FDA to halt the
deceptive labeling.

"The fact that palm oil isn't quite as bad as the absolute worst fat
[trans fats] shouldn't give food marketers carte blanche to portray
it as some kind of health food," said CSPI Executive Director
Michael Jacobson, PhD, in a press statement.

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