Are hydrogenated vegetable fats the same as margarine (see the other questions too)?

How much hidrogenated vegetable fats do we eat? I see them in so many products. And how bad is that for our health?

Thank you.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, margarine is a fully hydrogenated oil, with flavoring added. It is not good for you at all.

    This is from Wikipedia:

    "Hydrogenation is widely applied to the processing of vegetable oils and fats. Complete hydrogenation converts unsaturated fatty acids to saturated ones. In practice the process is not usually carried to completion. Since the original oils usually contain more than one double bond per molecule (that is, they are poly-unsaturated), the result is usually described as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; that is some, but usually not all, of the double bonds in each molecule have been reduced . This is done by adding hydrogen atoms which bond to the carbon, thus occupying a place in the outer orbital of the carbon which would have otherwise been used to bond with the next carbon in the fatty acid chain.

    Hydrogenation results in the conversion of liquid vegetable oils to solid or semi-solid fats, such as those present in margarine. Changing the degree of saturation of the fat changes some important physical properties such as the melting point, which is why liquid oils become semi-solid. Semi-solid fats are preferred for baking because the way the fat mixes with flour produces a more desirable texture in the baked product. Since partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are cheaper than animal source fats, they are available in a wide range of consistencies, and have other desirable characteristics (e.g., increased oxidative stability (longer shelf life)), they are the predominant fats used in most commercial baked goods. Fat blends formulated for this purpose are called shortenings.

    Health implications

    A side effect of incomplete hydrogenation having implications for human health is the isomerization of the remaining unsaturated carbon bonds. The cis configuration of these double bonds predominates in the unprocessed fats in most edible fat sources, but incomplete hydrogenation partially converts these molecules to trans isomers, which have been implicated in circulatory diseases including heart disease (see trans fats). The catalytic hydrogenation process favors the conversion from cis to trans bonds because the trans configuration has lower energy than the natural cis one. At equilibrium, the trans/cis isomer ratio is about 2:1. Food legislation in the US and codes of practice in EU has long required labels declaring the fat content of foods in retail trade, and more recently, have also required declaration of the trans fat content.

    In 2006, New York City adopted the US’s first major municipal ban on most artificial trans fats in restaurant cooking."

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  • 4 years ago

    We eat a lot of these kinds of fats. They are almost everywhere, even though most foods are trying harder to rid ourselves of them due to health risks. Saturated fats, such as butter or these types of things, are very bad for you. They are the bad kind of fats, and can cause heart attacks and strokes, as well as clogged arteries in other places. These fats contain little nutrition but also make cholesterol higher which of course is bad too. Unsaturated fats are much better for you, because they are needed by your body to produce certain chemicals and make your body run smoothly. These are things like oil. Margarine has unsaturated fats too but remember margarine also has very many chemicals in it and might even cause some type of disease (which some scientists are in the midst of studying). There are two types of unsaturated fats: poly and mono. Both are important to your body for different reasons. So yes, we eat them but they're bad...but isn't that true for most people eating most foods?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hydrogenated fats are mostly contained in processed foods, so no they are not considered good for you at all. Usually foods that contain hydrogenated fats also contain trans fats- which you should stay away from as much as you can. Try to stick with pure vegetable oils, which are much better for you and more heart healthy.

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  • 1 decade ago


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