Margarine and shortening are both hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenation is the chemical process used to convert polyunsaturated fats, which are normally liquid (oil) at room temperature, into solids (margarine) at room temperature.
What is Margarine & How is it Made?
The procedure begins with the cheapest oils i.e. soy, corn, cottonseed or canola oil which have been processed in the cheapest ways, therefore already rancid from conventional extraction processes
A metal catalyst is added to the chosen oil to speed up the chemical reaction of hydrogenation; nickel oxide is usually used
The history of soaking and sprouting grains, nuts and seeds is long standing. It is known that ancient Chinese doctors recommended sprouts for healing many illnesses over 5,000 years ago. The Chinese also carried mung beans on long ocean voyages and sprouted them throughout their journey. This prevented scurvy as sprouting makes vitamin C more bio-available (more easily absorbed). Virtually all pre-industrialized cultures soaked their grains before consumption, some examples include: India, rice and lentils, Ethiopia, teff, American pioneers, sourdough, and Scotland, oatmeal (Original instructions on Quaker Oats called for overnight soaking).
If you have read my past “What are Healthy Fats?” post you know that you should use cold pressed, organic, unrefined, and extra virgin oils. This stands true for dressings or any other way you choose to use your oils including cooking.
What determines if an oil or fat is safe to cook with?
The more stable the fat the more heat it can withstand. So what determines the stability of a fat? We have to look at the chemistry makeup of the fat analyzing the number of double bonds and degree of saturation.
The most stable fats are solid or semi-solid at room temperature. These fats do not contain any double bonds and are called saturated fats. They do not go rancid easily. Saturated fats are animal fats like butter and lard and tropical oils including coconut
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, so GMO salmon is genetically modified. What does this mean? The biotechnology company, AquaBounty Technologies, has created a GMO salmon they call AquAdvantage® Fish. This fish is in the process of being approved by the FDA. AquAdvantage® Fish is created by injecting growth hormone from Chinook Pacific salmon and DNA from an ocean pout fish (a type of eel) into a fertilized Atlantic salmon egg. This stimulates the frankenfish to grow to market weight in only 18 months rather than the natural 3 years it takes wild salmon!
Potential Health Risks!
Many of us are starting to get the message that sugar is the bad guy, not fats, but are still struggling with which fats are healthy fats and how fats benefit us.
Deficiency in Healthy Fats can lead to:
-Endocrine Issues (Hormonal Imbalances)
-Depression and Mood Disorders
Do you suffer from or have suffered from hemorrhoids, constipation, colon disease, ileocecal valve issues, or urinary tract infections? Research shows that squatting, rather than sitting, during bowel movements makes defecation more efficient and easier with less strain. Thus, helping avoid the above mentioned health problems.
Constipation and Hemorrhoids
Constipation and hemorrhoids go hand in hand as hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that are the result of excessive pressure applied during hard to pass stools or constipation.
Almost everyone knows or has heard the phrase “spike in blood sugar levels” and knows that it has a bad connotation, and rightfully so. So how can we avoid a spike in blood sugar levels? We can avoid a quick and dramatic spike in blood sugar levels by pairing good quality fats and proteins (i.e. grass fed meat, unrefined and cold pressed oils) with carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are very easily broken down and absorbed by our digestive system. This means that when we eat carbohydrates alone, especially refined carbohydrates or simple carbohydrates, sugar being the worst, a spike in blood sugar levels occurs. Over time this will over burden the three organs involved in blood sugar regulation, the pancreas, liver, and adrenal glands. Fats and proteins are
A common question that I get when I start talking about the health benefits of fermented foods is, “What foods are fermented?” So I decided to make a list of fermented foods.
You can ferment almost any food including vegetables, fruits, legumes, dairy, meat and fish! In order for a food to be fermented, beneficial microbes have to be present in the right environment including the correct pH and temperature range. Some ferments are anaerobic which means they are done in an airtight container without the presence of oxygen, as done in lacto-fermentation. Other ferments are aerobic which means they need exposure to oxygen therefore they are not done in an airtight container.
Are you suffering from digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, chronic constipation or diarrhea? Is your immune system over reactive resulting in autoimmune problems, eczema, allergies or food sensitivities to name a few? If so, fermented foods might be exactly what your body needs to feel healthy again.
Fermented foods are loaded with beneficial microbes (bacteria and yeast) that make up our gut flora. Maintaining this population in healthy balance is critical to our health, not only for proper digestion, but also for immune health, detoxification, and many other important bodily functions.