I promised a margarine rant quite a while back and here it is!!
To answer my above question – BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD!
For those that are friends with me on Facebook you may have seen this flow chart below that my sister found and posted on my wall – and it will help to explain why this oh so ‘natural’ product should be thrown straight in the rubbish.
From this you can see the steps taken to turn a natural vegetable oil into a block of margarine that so many people have been brainwashed into thinking is the healthy alternative.
So, you might ask – why do they do all of this? Well when you think about the consistency of oil, when in the fridge or on the bench – what state is it in? Liquid right? and does anyone want a tub of liquid to spread on their bread? No.. So they need to solidify it. The process involved in this solidification involves raising the oil to extreme temperatures that render it rancid, adding heavy metals, and ‘hydrogenating’ it either partially or fully. Hydrogenation is the process of converting unsaturated fatty acids with carbon = carbon double bonds to saturated fats where the double bonds are now broken to be able to accept another hydrogen molecule. Through this process the CIS configuration is converted to a Trans configuration and thus a Trans fat is born.. We have widely heard the health implications of Trans fats in the media recently, and if following the Australian Health guidelines, we should consume LESS than 1% in our daily diet. The scary thing is though, a product can state that there is 0% Trans fats if the actual amount is under 1%. So reading food labels is so important – anything that says partially hydrogenated is a Trans fat and should never pass your lips..
Now back to the process! By making this oil partially hydrogenated they have increased the shelf life, and make it a texture more acceptable for use in baking, or putting on the table. But they have to cool it down again, and reform some of the bonds they broke – and this is only possible by adding some metals – of which nickel is popular.
They shove it in a tub, market it with celebrities and make you feel guilty for not buying it – but please, does this sound like something natural??
It has the same number of calories as butter, and is one molecule away from being classified as plastic – so what you ask should you eat instead?
Butter! It is actually good for you, or nut butters, avocado, hummus and coconut oil.
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