Kelly Liston

I'm just going to go ahead and say it, trans-fat is some nasty stuff.  Trans-fats can be found in our food supply in most processed foods like bakery goods, potato chips, and of course, Crisco.  Here is the scary part, friends: legally companies can claim that their product has ZERO trans fat if there is half a gram or less of trans fat per serving.  So, Crisco may say zero trans fat on the label, but in actuality there are 11.8 mg/g per serving.  So, when all is said and done, it works out to actually be 1.4 grams of trans fat per serving.  (source)  Bummer.

What is trans fat and how can I find it in my foods?

Here is the scientific nitty gritty.  Trans fats are created by a process that uses hydrogen to turn liquid oils (usually cheap ones – corn and soy, e.g., that are already rancid) into a solid.  For the most part, it is simple to find them in your foods.  Look for “partially hydrogenated” on the label.  If the food has a partially hydrogenated ingredient, it has trans fat.

So, why are they bad news?

The process of hydrogenation changes molecular structure to something not normally found in nature.  But your body doesn't know that.  It just incorporates these trans fats into your cells as if they are something it would recognize – essentially partially hydrogenating your cells.  Now, everything is all wonky in your cells and certain chemical reactions that normally take place get disturbed because of the hydrogenation process.  (source)  How is that for scientific mumbo jumbo?

So, what can happen as a result of wonky cell disruption?  Trans fats have been linked to cancer, higher levels of blood cholesterol levels, hardening of the arteries, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke, and immune system disfunction, to name a few.  (source)  Do you still want to bake your cookies with Crisco?  I didn't think so.

It's time to ditch the shortenings and Criscos and margarines!  Take back control of your health and bake with a better option – Butter!  Its in your fridge and has always been delicious.  Butter is better, friends.  Embrace it!

5 Reasons to STOP using Crisco (source)

  • Trans fats cause deleterious effects such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and a myriad of other health issues.
  • Artificial flavors and preservatives (like BHT) are present.
  • BUTTER contains many heart protecting nutrients like Vitamins A, D, K2, and E, selenium, iodine, and lecithin.
  • The Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) found in butter from grass fed cows has powerful protection against cancer.
  • The nutrients found in butter aid in digestion, bone and thyroid health, as well as growth and development.

And, last, but not least, butter tastes better!  If you are still somewhat dubious about the merits of butter, keep in mind that butter has been around for a LONG time compared to shortening's relatively short life.  Traditional societies that cooked with butter didn't have the health problems that our nation faces today.

So, don't feel bad about walking into your kitchen and dumping all of your shortening into the trash.  Your food will taste better and will be better for you.  Your body will thank you.
Butter is the Best Alternative to Crisco

 

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31 Comments on “5 Reasons to Stop Using Crisco – Plus a Healthy Alternative!”

  1. I’m totally on board with the butter. My question is, I see you have the OV cultured butter. I currently use their pastured butter. What is the difference?

    1. We use both, too. As well as farm fresh raw butter. Cultured butter is simply butter made from cultured cream…ie cream that has been soured with beneficial bacteria. It tastes a little different and adds probiotics and enzymes to your diet. But cooking with it too high can kill the bacteria. We like all good butters!!!

  2. I’m not sticking up for Crisco and don’t use the stuff. I do think it’s bad for you too. But I see people use faulty logic about older societies that didn’t have this or that, and that they didn’t have the health problems we do today.

    First, correlation does not equal causation. Just about everything in our world is different than it was 100 years ago. How is it then that anyone knows it’s all because of shortening.

    Second, people didn’t live as long as they do today and much of what we suffer from are diseases that most likely would have developed in them if they lived longer too. Believe it or not, not everything they ate was healthy either.

    Third, diagnostic medicine has come a long way, as well as an understanding of problems that they didn’t even know were problems 100 years ago. People died back then of cancer too, but they didn’t know it or they ascribed it to something else. Autopsies were rare outside of research institutes or unless foul play was suspected.

    Fourth, lifestyles were different. People walked, kids played outside instead of inside the AC, people ate out of their gardens and ate mostly what was local because that’s all there was. There were no animal antibiotics or pesticides, and fertilizer was called manure and it didn’t come granulated in a bag.

    So to infer that shortening is responsible for things that have a variety of causes and weren’t even known about back then, sounds like a great bumper sticker phrase, but it’s just not accurate and honest.

    1. They started solidifying that oil to make soap, and when they noticed that it looked a lot like lard, they started demonizing butter and lard so they could sell their altered substance.
      It’s not good for you. It does cause all of the things mentioned above. You seem like a blowhard to me. Go read some more about Crisco.

      1. Did you read anything George wrote? He calmly brought very valid points to the discussion, and your retort addressed none of them. If anyone between you two is a blowhard, it’s you.

      2. I agree with Loren! George made some very valid points. Correlation does not equal causation, and it’s really bad logic to say that shortening must be the cause of all of our diseases when there are so many other variables that are also at play. Not to say that shortening and margarine are good for you.

      3. It really seems you are a complete ignorant blowhard. Why not try learning some actual science. First let me say, I don’t use Crisco, simply because of transfat scare and the increasing amount of studies finding the heart BENEFITS of some saturated fats- specifically the ones in milk. So, eat some cheese, use some butter. But, that actually also isn’t FACT. scientific FACT is an experiment that can be repeated hundreds of times and yield the same result. Only a small 2% (but growing) of experiments are repeated (no one pays for a repeat). So, science has to use the work “linked”. “Linked” is NOT fact. Scientists use “linked” when they think it may be the cause of something but they have no idea if it does or why it does. For my money, I’ll take “linked”. It’s probably a good idea to not eat anything partially hydrogenated- which Crisco is NOT. Crisco is fully hydrogenated which does NOT produce trans fat, it’s a saturated fat. It’s perfectly fine to use it, but with butter tasting better and perhaps heart protective (perhaps) why bother using a fake. Of course it would probably blow your conspiracy looney mind if you were told the FACT that saturated fat has never been proven to be dangerous- only probably linked. The original study was incredibly flawed and unquestioned until recently, and what with a majority of people going to low fat diets and it yet the increase of heart attacks- it’s no wonder the scientists studying it are confused. By the way, all facts stated above come from various BBC radio health documentaries. “Inside Health” etc. So please, try to get actual science before you run with crazy loony internet psuedo-science (this is not a comment on the original article- just the rude response)

    2. I agree with George about most of his points. We did live a different lifestyle. One that was much healthier. This living to be in our 90’s and 100 is not all that it is cracked up to be. Many are suffering from many illnesses and that is what they are building more and more Senior Facilities with medical care attached.

  3. The people that 100 years ago didn’t have anything hydrogenated; it wasn’t invented yet. They also didn’t have plastic which is poison. Everything we buy now comes in plastic. Used to come in glass.A lot of harmful inventions are a factor now. Just use our nothings and do our best to avoid them.

  4. Great article! This is a small change that everyone can make to do something a little bit healthier. I also think people would be surprised how much shortening is used in baking. Donuts, biscuits, cookies, icing you name it. Finding grass fed butter is still hard to find in some areas and/or not affordable for all. Conventional butter is still better than shortening IMO if you cannot get the organic/grass fed.

  5. Love this. I do have a question. Do you think plain ole’ non-organic store bought butter is better than the alternatives? I can’t always get access to organic. Sometimes, but not always.

    1. I do think store bought butter is better than no butter at all. But, because it is not organic, you will have the issue of hormones/antibiotics/gmos from the cow. But this is still better than margarine or Crisco any day! You could also use coconut oil and olive oil for your oily needs but none have the same taste as real butter!

    1. As of 2012, Crisco consists of a blend of soybean oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, and partially hydrogenated palm and soybean oils. According to the product information label, one 12 g serving of Crisco contains 3 g of saturated fat, 0 g of trans fat, 6 g of polyunsaturated fat, and 2.5 g of monounsaturated fat. According to the FDA, “Food manufacturers are allowed to list amounts of trans fat with less than 0.5 gram (1/2 g) per serving as 0 (zero) on the Nutrition Facts panel. Some nutritionists argue that while the formula has been changed to remove the trans fatty acids, the fully hydrogenated oil used to replace them may not be good for health.

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  7. I have a recipe that was my grandmother’s. I would like to modified it to be more healthy. In the recipe it calls for 1.5 lbs of Crisco and I would like to use unsalted butter. How much butter should I use in place of the Crisco? Also, I’ve stopped using white sugar and have starting using In The Raw brown sugar, again the recipe calls for 1 lb. of sugar. How much of the In The Raw should I use? Thanks

    1. Hi Teresa! You can substitute butter for Crisco 1:1. And the same goes for sugar. However, brown sugar behaves differently than white sugar. When I replace white sugar, I use coconut sugar or sucanat. These sugars can be substituted 1:1.
      Kelly Liston recently posted…Fowl PoxMy Profile

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  10. I use crisco as candle put a wick in the center of the can when you light it will burn for long time i know I ran out candles and no flashlight only lighter when power went out I hope this will help incase of emergency that,s what CRISCO good for .

  11. Ok so I use Crisco for my cookies (50% crisco and 50% butter in reciepe) for years.
    Personally I think their both bad for you since they are both fats.
    Butter is bad for you because of all the saturated fat.
    Crisco has very little saturated but has hydronated oils and only .5g of trans fat.
    Do they both cancel each other out? I’m confused still on which is better or worse.
    It sounds like they both have their problems as it relates to health and wellness.
    I tried other oil fats like canola, palm, coconut, olive and they all make the cookies taste worse.
    forgive my spelling please

    1. Butter is better. The war on saturated fat was misguided and still rages on under false pretense to this day. Any transfat from hydrogenated oils is bad. That means one should reduce their intake to zero.

      Saturated fat is necessary for brain and cell function as well as a great source of energy. The saturated fat in regards to butter & oil should come from healthy sources such as grass fed animals and sunflower, avocado, olive, & coconut oil. If one maintains a diet low in sugar and relatively high in healthy fats the body uses the fat for energy versus storing it. If you consume too much sugar your body flips a switch and stores the fat and uses carbs as an energy source. Saturated fat is not the bad guy. Poor diet and unhealthy fats are.

  12. Crisco no longer has trans fats as a baker I love both Lard makes great biscuits and pie crusts. coconut oil is a good alternative as well but it will leave a coconut flavor.

    1. *

      Crisco no longer has trans fats. As a baker I love both. Lard makes great biscuits and pie crusts. Coconut oil is a good alternative as well but it will leave a coconut flavor and can make baked goods taste funny.

  13. When I read a few years ago about how shortening was made I stopped using it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s partially hydrogenated or fully hydrogenated. For a while I held out using it to grease my pans, because all the cookbooks say don’t use butter to grease your pans for baking. Now I always use butter for greasing my pans, and if something is in danger of sticking I add a little parchment paper on the bottom. At my house we use 4 fats: extra virgin olive oil from California, unrefined coconut oil, organic or grass-fed butter, and homemade tallow from grass-fed cows. I would use lard if I could find pastured pig fat. My food budget is extremely tight but I will no longer skimp on the good fats. I went for a full heart workup a few months ago and even though I’m overweight (though have lost 30 lbs over last 2 years without dieting or formal exercise) my heart was in great shape; I think I really surprised the cardiologist. Cholesterol numbers are great too, not that I really care. I agree with OhLardy! Eat, cook, and bake with butter or coconut oil, you will not miss the Crisco!

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