Home Social Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Hydrogenated Oils: Why They’re Bad News

http://www.nuttyabouthealth.com/2012/11/20/hydrogenated-oils-why-theyre-bad-news/ Posted on November 20, 2012

You’ve most likely heard the term hydrogenated oils before, but what exactly are they & why do you need to be concerned about them?

To put it simply, hydrogenated oils are formerly healthy oils that are chemically altered & put into many of the packaged & processed foods you eat.  They make oils that are normally a liquid at room temperature a solid, or near solid state.


The hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils make fats solid, give margarine or shortening it’s consistency, improve taste/texture in some cases, help in preservation & shelf-life, & keep oils in Nut Butters from separating.  Unfortunately, the health consequences & risks seem to FAR outweigh any benefits.


To put it bluntly – Would you eat plastic?  Well, if you’re consuming hydrogenated oils, they’re not all that far off.  The unstable fatty acids in oils that are said to be good & healthy for you are changed when hydrogenated oil is made.  These formerly healthy fats become altered & are a new fatty acid that is known as a trans fat.  You’ve most likely heard of these before.  They have quite the reputation and are also bad news.

Trans fats lurk in partially hydrogenated oils & increase your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, while simultaneously wreaking havoc on your “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels.  Evidence has shown that since trans fats & hydrogenated oils are a more solid, thicker, close to plastic-like consistency, that they move slowly in your blood & may accumulate in the body.  Your body doesn’t know what to do with these chemically altered fats.  The result could be weight-gain, diabetes, coronary disease… & I can only imagine what else they will link it to next.  

Which is worse – fully hydrogenated, or partially?

How about both.  Well, if you had to choose one that was worse, it would be the partially hydrogenated oils.  Why?  Well, full hydrogenation has almost no trans fat in it.  The amount of saturated fat, which when it is in the form of stearic acid, can be converted by the body to oleic acid.  Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat (good for you type of fat), so it won’t raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels in the body.  The partially hydrogenated oils have trans fats in them, making them a bit worse.

In other words, small amounts accumulate over time & consuming something so chemically altered & close in nature to plastic, is just plain unhealthy.


Negative Effects of Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

by Erica Kannall, Demand Media




In addition to raising your LDL cholesterol, trans fat may produce inflammation in your body, making you more prone to develop diseases. A study published in "The Journal of Lipid Research" in October 2011 looked at overweight but healthy postmenopausal women taking partially hydrogenated oil. At the end of the 16-week trial, women consuming the partially hydrogenated oil had higher levels of inflammation in their bodies than women consuming regular vegetable oil. An inflammatory marker called tumor necrosis factor increased the most from consuming trans fat.



Consumer Reports News: April 18, 2013 11:08 AM


Hydrogenation is a chemical process that converts liquid vegetable oil into solid fat. Partially hydrogenated oils, such as shortening and soft margarine, are semi-soft. Oils that are fully hydrogenated are firmer, and don't contain any of the dangerous artery-inflaming trans fat found in partially hydrogenated oils. But they do harbor some saturated fat in the form of stearic acid, which is created during the hydrogenation process. Both trans fats and saturated fats contribute to your risk of heart disease.

So it's best to avoid hydrogenated oils in general, especially since they tend to show up in high-fat dishes that aren't that good for you anyway, such as fried food, fast food, and processed baked goods.




Partially vs. Fully Hydrogenated Oils

Posted on October 7, 2010by Hemi Weingarten


Fat is solid at room temperature; Oil is liquid, but some oils are semisolid at room temperature. All oils and fats are composed of fatty acids. Fatty acids are molecules with lots of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms. They are classified into 2 main types -

  • saturated fatty acids
  • unsaturated fatty acids

The two types of fatty acids are quite similar, with the main difference being the amount of hydrogen atoms they contain. Saturated fatty acids have much more hydrogen atoms in them. It “stiffens them up” into a more solid substance.

Each kind of oil is a combination of various fatty acids, some saturated and some unsaturated. The more saturated fatty acids an oil has, the higher its melting point. In other words, the more solid it tends to be at room temperature. For example, palm oil, which has mostly saturated fatty acids, is semi-solid at room temperature.

Food companies like oils with saturated fatty acids because they have longer shelf lives and in baked goods provide a better texture and mouthfeel. Lard, by the way is also highly saturated.

Unfortunately, cheap oils like soybean and cottonseed are not solid at room temperature. That’s where the brilliant invention of hydrogenation comes in – bombard the oil with hydrogen atoms until it changes its molecular structure.

If you do it just right, you’ll have created an oil that is solid enough at room temperature, yet still spreadable (margarine anyone?) This is called partial hydrogenation. Do it too much and you’ll get a fully hydrogenated oil, a solid slab at room temperature.

The chemical structure of the unsaturated fatty acids after the partial hydrogenation turns them into trans-fatty acids. But if you go all the way, they turn into the more familiar saturated fatty acids.

Welcome to the wonderful world of organic chemistry.

From a health perspective, it turns out that trans-fatty acids (trans-fat) cause serious health issues, much worse than saturated fatty acids (saturated fat). That’s why despite their culinary and economical allure, in the past few years oils with trans-fats are being used in less products. (Unfortunately, plenty of foods still contain partially hydrogenated oils.)

Add comment

Security code