Friday, November 8, 2013

FDA Bans Trans Fats

Oh, great!  The FDA has decided that trans fats are too dangerous to put in food.

When I was a kid, everyone thought that butter was unhealthy.  Even though I grew up in Wisconsin, the dairy state, my parents bought into this fad.  

At first, Wisconsin outlawed the use of food coloring in margarine, because they felt that this food coloring was misleading in making margarine look like butter.  This meant that Wisconsin margarine was white.  I guess they couldn't outlaw margarine entirely, since corn, which is used to make margarine, is also grown in Wisconsin.

Later, they sold margarine in plastic bags with a food coloring tablet enclosed in the bag.  We could crush the food coloring into the margarine and then manipulate the bag until the coloring was distributed throughout the margarine, so it would look yellow.

My father used to bring back margarine from Illinois, when he went there, because you could get yellow margarine from Illinois.

More recently I've seen more and more researchers saying that there is no evidence that eating cholesterol causes cholesterol in the blood stream.  I saw a report of one piece of research finding in a small group of older women with diabetes that eating cholesterol actually lowered their blood stream cholesterol.  Moreover there have been articles stating that cholesterol may have a protective effect against cancer.  I've also seen anecdotal reports that cholesterol is good for the brain, especially for people with autism spectrum disorders, which run in my family.

My parents were so well-meaning.  Yet, somehow, it never occurred to them that the margarine might be more dangerous than the butter, or even that the margarine might be healthier without the food coloring. 

In retrospect, that should have been obvious.  Butter has been around for thousands of years.  Margarine was a new experiment.  Yet doctors, without any research backing them up whatsoever, were recommending this dangerous new substance and saying that it was safer than the older, tried and true substance.

Given that I'm having a health issue right now, I start to wonder what consequences that medical advice is having for me.