Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Avoid chemically modified fats. You’ve heard the terms “hydrogenated” and “partially hydrogenated” used to describe oils. You’ve seen them on food labels and heard the warnings. Here’s why you should avoid these chemically modified fats.
Hydrogenation, complete or partial, is a chemical process in which hydrogen is added to liquid oils to turn them into a solid form. Partially hydrogenated fat molecules have trans fats, and they may be the worst type of fat you can consume. Don’t confuse these man-made trans fats with those that occur naturally in some foods. Only chemically altered trans fats have been shown to increase cholesterol levels, which can lead to a host of cardiovascular problems.
Food manufacturers use hydrogenated trans fats because they increase shelf life and keep flavors stable. Up until a few years ago, most of the “junk” foods we crave—cookies, cakes, candies, chips, crackers, and some margarines and spreads—were made with hydrogenated oils. But with the recent negative attention given to trans fats, many manufacturers are cutting back or eliminating their use. To be sure, keep reading those nutrition labels. And count on Smart Balance® products to be completely free of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Of all the leading brands, Smart Balance is the only buttery spread that uses only natural fats. We make it easy—and delicious—to avoid chemically modified fats. Please see the nutrition information of each product for fat and saturated fat content.