This symbol should be added, just like cigarettes have disclaimers.
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OK, Sonja is about to go on a major rant. Batten down the hatches and strap yourselves in.
I have been a student of nutrition since 2000 when I was advised to change my diet or else succumb to the family heart disease genetics. The most important thing I learned in this regard was that fats are necessary in a healthy diet, as long as they are the RIGHT fats. Expeller pressed fats are good, especially olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil (or as Rachel Ray calls it “E-V-O-O”) is even better. Fat in avocados is good. There are levels of “good fats” and “better fats” even in the “right” category of fats. And even these fats must be eaten in moderation, but a small amount is required for good health.
There are several BAD fats also, but the worst offender in my estimation are the trans fats. These are so bad that many cities and countries are either banning their use or are considering such a ban. The two types of processed trans fats I am most familiar with are “partially hydrogenated oils” and “hydrogenated oils”. Make no mistake, these oils are poison and should not be eaten at all. Forgot about moderation, I have read that there is no safe amount of these to eat. Research it for yourself (But don’t look up food companies that use it in their products as they have a vested interest to keep using it and will fund bogus research to prove it. Why? Because it’s cheap to use and gives their products extremely long shelf lives. So what if it’s unhealthy – their bottom line is what’s important to them). These fats are positively known to clog arteries and cause coronary heart disease. They also contribute to cancer, diabetes, obesity, liver dysfunction, and are associated with infertility.
So I am pissed off at seeing this shit consistently as an ingredient in Girl Scout cookies. Every year my husband buys several boxes of these toxic cookies (this year he bought Samoas and, the delicious yet deadly “Tagalongs” peanut butter cookies). He eats them all by himself as I refuse to do so, and he can’t really afford to eat them because he’s supposed to be watching his cholesterol. I looked at the ingredients this year again and sure enough there it is : “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean, cottonseed, palm and/or palm kernel oils)”. And it’s only the third ingredient in the cookie after peanuts and sugar (for those of you who aren’t aware, ingredients in a food product are listed in the order of greatest quantity, so in this case peanuts would be the ingredient most prevalent in Tagalongs; third place for trans fats indicates that they are very prevalent and in a large quantity per cookie).
The sad part is that it’s all economics for the food companies. Good fats are more expensive than bad ones, of course. But I personally spend the extra few cents buying healthy cookies to help preserve my health. There are lots of good snacks at markets like Whole Foods and Mother’s Market (although you must still check the labels, sometimes bad fats sneak by the store’s buyers).There are also alternatives to trans fats, you can already find these on the shelves at the supermarkets. Of course, some of these products not using trans fats are still using other crappy fats (non expeller pressed fats) and that’s still a shame.
I don’t want to give you the impression that only cookies contain trans fats. All kinds of products contain them. Read labels to protect yourself.