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Old 11-19-2006, 02:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
I do not believe that Trans Fat in and of itself is any greater killer than pure saturated fats.
Thanks for starting this thread GI Chef, and thanks for that link to the Harvard site SuzyQ!
Boy was I wrong!!! I was complacent and happy to ride along believing outdated research which had originally shown that trans fat and saturated fat had essentially the same impact on cholesterol levels. And, I was living in a Alice in Wonderland world believing others things that I had always been taught like trans fats are only in hydrogenated fats, and that cholesterol only comes from animal fat sources.

Things I learned from doing a lot of research of newer studies this week:

Plants also produce and contain cholesterol - although significantly lower than animal sources. So low that it's hardly worth mentioning - and so low it doesn't have to be listed on nutritional labels.

Trans fat is not limited to hyrogenated oils - it is also naturally occuring in beef, lamb, goat, and pork fats; and in milk, butter, and cheeses. Although the research didn't mention game animals I would assume it would also include deer, antelope, moose, bear ... any milk producing mammal.

Trans fat is the most insidious fat. Saturated fat raises both the LDL (bad) cholesterol and the good (HDL) cholesterol. Monounsaturated fat raises the good HDL and lowers the bad LDL. Polyunsaturated fats lower both the bad LDL and the good HDL. (The chart on the page SuzyQ provided is wrong about polyunsaturated fats - according to some of the research they quoted in that article - that's Harvard's fault not SuzyQ's). Polyunsaturated fats lower total cholesterol - but the ratio of LDL:HDL does not change, therefore they are both lowered. (ref: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 34, 1758-1763)

Now, the following info came from another Harvard HSPH site ... or from one of the research studies referenced. I really wish I had bookmarked the specific site I'm going to reference below...

What makes trans fat the really bad guy? Unlike what was previously thought that it just raised total serium cholesterol (LDL and HDL) like saturated fats - it does somethig different when looking at the affect on the ratio of LDL:HDL. Instead of raising both - it raises the LDL twice as much as saturated fats and lowers the HDL 1/2 the increase of the LDL ... sort of 2:-1 ratio. While this might keep the total cholesterol level equal ... it shifts the balance of good and evil!

U.S. LABELING LAWS: Is it really 0g Trans Fat?

Foods labeled zero trans fat may still contain up to 0.5 grams per serving of trans fat and stil be labeled as 0 trans fat (just as long as it is below 0.5 ... like 0.499999). (ref: HSPH website - I'm too lazy to go find the FDA website citation on labeling requirements which explains the odd "rounding" requirements which allow you to round down, but doesn't require you to round up).

So, maybe my gradmother wasn't trying to kill us when she used lard and butter instead of Crisco and margarine to make her pie crusts?
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:24 PM   #22
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So, maybe my gradmother wasn't trying to kill us when she used lard and butter instead of Crisco and margarine to make her pie crusts?

And her crusts probably tasted better witht that combination. I just can't bring myself to buy lard...that word has become almost an epithet, hasn't it? So in lieu I will stick with a combination of butter and the new almost-trans-fat-free Crisco for good flavor and texture.

Thanks so much for all the research, Michael. Much appreciated. When all is said and done, probably the best approach is one of moderation -- and enjoyment!
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:16 PM   #23
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Michael, you've done a lot of research and understand much more than I do. I've tried to find the make up of all the oils, both vegetable and animal, available to us with little success. Without physically going down to the supplier and reading the labels I can find very little. From what I have found Canola seems to have come up the best, followed by peanut oil for heavy duty deep frying.
When taking in to consideration how Canola has been bagged so much by using GM seed etc, they have survived the onslaught.
For my purpose peanut oil is completely out of the question, we have so many people allergic to peanuts that I'd be in court more often than not, and when people found out that I was using it my customer bank would vanish.
I was surprised as to how badly coconut and palm oil fared with saturated fat, I personally like palm oil as it is hardy, tasteless and doesn't adhere to the equipment, it's very fine and drains well.
I can't find anything on lard, animal fat base, and it is the preferred deep frying oil here. I think it has "that" taste that the locals like.
All in all, I guess "in moderation" is the key factor combined with a varied diet.
I remain yours - still completely confused
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:08 PM   #24
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New York has just passed a bill that mandates all of its eateries to get rid of any trans fats to cook food!!

Boston is now in the process of doing the same thing. Other cities and states may follow suit as well.
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