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.