Hydrogenated Oils And Your Health

 What Is Hydrogenation

by DR. RUSSELL on AUGUST 8, 2008


Hydrogenation is a high-heat, chemical process that changes the molecular structure of a vegetable oil in such a way that it will practically never spoil, which is great for increasing product shelf-life, but terrible for anyone who actually consumes a product containing the plasticized oil.
To hydrogenate oil you take a natural, healthy vegetable oil and heat it to over 400 degrees and then bubble hydrogen through it for several hours in the presence of a metallic catalyst, typically nickel or aluminum.

The hydrogenation process kills all biological activity and changes the oil molecularly by causing carbon atoms in the oil to bond differently.

Hydrogenated oil is slow to spoil because, after hydrogenation, there’s nothing biologically active left to spoil. It’s not far from the truth to describe hydrogenated oil as “plastic oil”, and it doesn’t take a health expert to know that food made with plastic cooking oil can’t be good for you.

There’s mounting evidence these distorted cooking oils cause a number of serious health problems. In addition to containing metallic residue from the aluminum and nickel, the once healthful oil is molecularly deformed and transformed into what is called a trans-fatty acid, and trans-fatty acids are BAD for you!

The chemically distorted trans-fatty acid molecule has an extremely odd shape and does not fit into the pattern of human biochemistry. Its presence disrupts the natural flow of things in your body; like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

Other molecules that don’t fit naturally in human biochemistry include pesticides, synthetics chemicals, and certain drugs; these substances are specifically designed to DISRUPT the normal flow of electrons and cause cells to behave abnormally.


There’s no doubt about it, hydrogenated oils are bad for you and are linked in research to health problems including; high blood pressure, heart disease, an increased tendency toward allergies and reduced immune function and more.

According to the Harvard Education Report on Trans Fatty Acids, “By our most conservative estimate, replacement of partially hydrogenated fat in the U.S. diet with natural unhydrogenated vegetable oils would prevent approximately 30,000 premature coronary deaths per year, and epidemiologic evidence suggests this number is closer to 100,000 premature deaths annually.”

I don’t know about you, but this is more than enough evidence for me to avoid these plastic oils like the plague  Here are some tips on how.

Before you can just say no to eating plastic cooking oil, you have to know all the sneaky ways it can end up in your home, on your plate and in your mouth.

Most cooking oils are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated and that means they are super-rich in transfatty acids. Corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, and canola oil (unless cold pressed and sold refrigerated) are all hydrogenated.

The label may say zero trans-fatty acids, but it’s not true.

First, transfatty acids are an unavoidable molecular structure made during the process of hydrogenation. They are made as the natural result of heating a vegetable oil to 400+ degrees in the presence of an aluminum or nickel catalyst.

Second, labeling laws today, (in my opinion), are little more than a License To Lie. On a label zero is not zero. The law permits a manufacturer to list an item as having a ZERO amount of something as long as it contains less than a certain amount per serving.

Saying a hydrogenated oil has a zero transfatty acid content is like saying you can have water with a zero oxygen content… when you understand the science, you know the statement is patently absurd.

You may notice aluminum and nickel are never listed on the labels of these oils, yet, like transfatty acids, aluminum and nickel are a necessary byproduct of chemical process. The reason these toxic metals are not listed in the ingredients is because they are not additives… they are simply used in the manufacturing process.

In other words, if something is not intended to be part of the product it does not have to be listed in the ingredients.  Sounds like a license to lie to me.

The only reason trans-fatty acid content is now listed on labels is because doctors and health activists finally persuaded congress to change the law and force manufacturers to include trans fat content on the nutrition panel label.

Buyer Beware…

Hydrogenated oils are added to hundreds of products including bread, crackers, cookies, cakes, snack foods, dips, spreads, dressings, margarine, candy, and many more.

Do you ever eat out?

You know those little tubs of margarine you get with the bread, rolls or crackers?

Odds are close to 100% that the bread, rolls or crackers are made with hydrogenated oils and, unless the tub contains pure butter, the margarine or whipped spread is nothing but pure hydrogenated oil.

What about the little tubs of non-dairy coffee creamer?

Read the labels and you’ll discover they contain nothing more than hydrogenated oil and preservatives.

Most popular salad dressings, like blue cheese, thousands islands, Roquefort, honey mustard and others, (olive oil and vinegar excluded), are made with hydrogenated oil. Whether you go out to eat or dine at home, if you dump that dressing on your otherwise healthy salad you’re loading up with transfatty acids.

Ever have breakfast out?

If you do, beware of the scrambled eggs and omelets. Why? Because it’s common practice to make scrambled eggs and omelets out of an egg mixture poured from a carton instead of cracking fresh eggs out of an eggshell and carton eggs contains hydrogenated oil, corn syrup and preservatives.

One chain restaurant, known for its international pancake selection, actually adds pancake batter to the carton eggs as an extender to make omelets larger, thicker, and fluffier. Unsuspecting customers think they’re getting a great omelet are getting sugar, flour, hydrogenated oil and transfatty acids along with their eggs.

Do you enjoy hard candy?

Those little cellophane wrapped morsels of flavor are made entirely of sugar and hydrogenated oils.

Sucking on hard candy throughout the day is like being hooked up to a transfatty acid I-V drip all day long, no wonder heart disease is such a tremendous problem. By the way, not just hard candy that contains hydrogenated oils. Practically ALL candy is made with hydrogenated oil. Read the labels and see for yourself.


Imagine a perfectly smooth, round marble like you used to play with when you were a kid; now imaging rolling that smooth marble around between the palms of you hands. Nice and smooth, no problems right?

Molecules of vegetable oil, BEFORE hydrogenation, are smooth and symmetrical, no jagged edges, no sharp corners, nothing to stick, scratch, poke, or damage. If you could roll the molecules in your hand, they would be smooth just like the marble.

Hydrogenation distorts those smooth molecules and produces molecules with a claw-like appendage. That claw sticks out and scratches or scrapes anything it comes into contact with, including the inside of your veins and arteries, scratching, scraping and doing damage fom the inside.

If you get a scratch, the first thing you do is put some medicine on it and cover with a Band-Aid.

Natures’ Band-Aid for scratches and scrapes inside arteries is called LDL cholesterol.

When you consume hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated you load your blood up with molecules that have jagged little claws that scratch and scrape the inside of the arteries and cause LDL cholesterol to be deposited there to help heal the scrape.

LDL cholesterol is extra sticky and acts like a magnet or like flypaper, attracting every little bit of particulate matter and debris. The result is arterial occlusion, which is a fancy way of saying hardening of the arteries.

If the blood pathway narrows, the heart must beat harder and harder to supply blood. Narrower arteries and a heart beating harder and harder is high blood pressure, and high blood pressure sets the stage for potentially life threatening health problems.


Olive oil, peanut oil and coconut oil are not hydrogenated and they are naturally stable with a naturally long shelf life.

In upcoming posts, I’ll reveal the virtues of each of the healthy oils,  So stay tuned!

If you or someone you care about want’s to lose some weight, take a look at my 5 Steps To Optimal Health Program.  A lot of people have benefit, so check it out here: http://www.5StepsToOptimalHealth.com

One more thing… people who sign up for Health News You Can Use frequently gain free access to content not published on this site.  Check it out.



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