These artificial fats are pretty much the worst. Hydrogenation involves the forced addition of hydrogen into the empty spaces between long chain fatty acids (vegetable oils). This process works to chemically harden oils at room temperature and thus give them a longer shelf life (ie. margarine). Hydrogenated fats, a.k.a trans fats, are very difficult for the body to metabolize, and they end up getting “stuck” in blood circulation.
While trans fats are banned in the US, and Canada has limited them to 2% of an oil’s total fat content, they still sneak up as partially hydrogenated oils on ingredient labels.
Essential fatty acids (omega 3 & 6).We rely on essential fats for functions like immunity, blood clotting, brain health, hormonal balance, healthy cholesterol levels and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (to name a few). Our bodies can’t produce EFA's, so we need to obtain them through diet.
The ideal ratio of omega 6's to 3's should be about 2:1, however the standard North American diet is typically way higher in 6's. This is partially due to the pro-inflammatory nature of arachidonic acid (one form of omega-6) found in corn and grain fed meats, hydrogenated fats and processed junk foods.
To offset inflammation and balance out our EFA ratio, we can consume foods higher in omega-3's such as avocado, raw nuts, flax seed, wild fish and grass-fed meat. Sea vegetables and cold water fatty fish contain the preformed omega-3’s EPA and DHA, which the body can absorb right away.
Keep up the good fats!