Friday, September 28, 2007

Go Figure: Avoid the bad fat!

Go Figure @ Multi-Tasking Moms

These days, trans fat is getting a whole lot of press and it isn't good! Trans fat is BAD NEWS. You can read all about it here if you aren't familiar with this type of fat and its dangers. One source of trans fat is partially hydrogenated oil, which can be found in all sorts of food. I encourage you to go read about it because these oils present a serious risk to your health and the health of your family.

When I first heard the term, partially hydrogenated oil, I had no clue what it was. After doing some research, I very quickly learned that I HAD to get this stuff out of my house! Of course, one look in my pantry made me feel completely overwhelmed! Afterall, I am not a health nut. I am just your average grocery store mom who wants to be a little healthier.

I determined I was going to do this a bit at a time. After all, it was going to take time to look at the ingredients on all of the options at the grocery store. Now, if you shop completely organic then hydrogenated oils are not an issue. I am NOT 100% organic, so I knew that I was going to have my work cut out for me to eliminate hydrogenated oils in my grocery store products.

The hardest part was finding the brand that did not contain hydrogenated oils, so I am going to make it easier on you and list out the products that I have found. Many times it is just knowing the brand you need for the food you like. Sometimes though, it is more than that.

1. Peanut Butter Crackers: The LANCE Toasty brand does not have the bad oil in it. Also, the Target Market Pantry Brand (a dollar cheaper) does not have it either. (I can find these at Target)

2. Cereal: Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios are all safe. Now, my favorite cereals are the Archer Farms (organic) brand at Target. The Strawberry and Yogurt Granola Flakes is always gone when there is a sale! The Archer Farm Cereal Brands also eliminate High Fructose Corn on my list. (Raisin Bran has that...ugh) Look at your labels! You will be shocked at what "healthy" cereals have this oil in them!

3. Bread: Oh yes, check your BREAD! My wheat bread had it in there!!!! I had to find a new brand - it varies, so find what you like.

4. Crackers: You have to GET RID OF your Ritz and Club crackers! The good news is that you can use Pepperidge Farm varieties and we just love their wheat crackers. Wheat Thins don't have the oil in there either.

5. Peanut Butter: Now, you have to know that my girls used to eat Peanut Butter by the bowlful and this stuff is the WORST culprit of hydrogenated oils! I had to go to the Organic Peanut Butter and boy was it an adjustment. Yes, you have to stir it and keep it in the fridge. My girls stopped eating it by the bowlful, but they would tolerate it on their sandwiches. Now, the BEST NEWS EVER for us was the new Skippy Natural Peanut Butter. It eliminates the bad oil, but keeps the sugar! My girls love it. This is peanut butter has the taste and texture you are probably used to, but the bad oil is GONE!

6. Kids Snacks: Oh, this was the hardest. Gone were my favorite animal crackers. I could still cry...but I digress. The stuff without the oil: Goldfish. Wheat Thins. Welchs Fruit Snacks. Some pretzels (see next category). Sun Chips. Tortilla Chips. (Snack options: Craisins. Raisins. Walnuts. Pistacios. ANY nut or dried fruit. Fruit. Veggies and Dip. Cheese.)

7. Pretzels: Snyder's of Hanover SNAPS pretzels are fine. Rold Gold brand don't have the bad oil. We love the braided honey twists. A lot of brands do have the bad oil, so read that label and choose the right brand.

8. Chips: The new Good Earth brand chips are fine. Sun Chips eliminate the bad oil. Tortilla Chips don't have the bad oil. Pita chips - we love the cinnamon ones!

9. Granola Bars: Nature Valley Oats and Honey is a great crunchy bar! Kashi Chewy Bars are quite yummy too. I haven't found any other chewy bars without it, but I prefer crunchy, so I didn't check a lot.

10. No more powdered drinks, like hot chocolate. Most of the powdered drinks have it in there. Now, look on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Can and you can make your own hot chocolate mix...a staple in my house!

I hope this helps you get started and makes it a little easier. I don't have any hydrogenated oil in the pantry anymore, but I got there one food product at a time.

Next on the list, high fructose corn syrup. This stuff is bad news, but once again I feel overwhelmed and need to take it one at a time.

*After writing this, I read that partially hydrogenated oil is being listed in the ingredients as mono-diglycerides. I will have to go check my brands now, so please be aware of this!


Lisa said...

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I have also been much more aware of buying food and drink with the bad oils and the High Fructose Corn Syrup. It has been a really hard adjustment in our house and my oldest daughter has been my toughest opponent, I guess cause she has gotten to eat the "junk" the longest. If it weren't for Sun Chips, she would be wasting away! I still do buy a pack of Oreos or ice cream bars, sometimes a bag of potato chips, but these are a once in a while treat, not an everyday staple. We are slowly getting there! I am printing your post so I can shop for some new snacks! Thanks!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

Wow! Thanks for the heads up on this....gonna check stuff out ASAP!

Short Stop said...

I make the Hershey's hot chocolate recipe almost everyday. It's just the best! I have no idea why I ever bought pre-packaged mix...I sure didn't know what I was missing!

Christin said...

Wow. I'm a not so glad kind of way...that I read this. I'm afraid to go look in MY pantry. But thank you so much for writing the list out. That took a ton of time...and it was so thoughtful. You're sweet.

Anonymous said...

I have huge allergies to foods that cause migraines. I am just starting to learn this stuff. I can't tell you how cool this post is. There are so many things that I need to learn. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Mommy Lynda said...

Wow! There are a lot of foods that still have it in there. Thanks for letting us know to watch out for it.

Dawnelle said...

Another thing to remember is that many of them say "trans fat free" or "no hydrogenated oil", BUT, they can still print that with the current guidelines if they are under a certain percentage of trans fat per serving.

There still can be items w/ trans fat that are labeled "trans fat free".

Your best bet is just to steer clear of processed foods as much as possible. Easily said, and hard to do.

my4loveys said...

Just so you know, that Skippy PB has palm oil in it, which is also supposed to be rather gross. Do a google search and you will be able to read a lot about it. We have switched to Smucker's natural b/c the only ingedients are peanuts and salt. You do still have to stir and store in the fridge, but my kids don't mind it. THere is just too much to think about as a mom!

Lori said...

Wow! Thanks for the heads up and all of the healthy snack ideas.

Saph said...

Thanks for the tip on the renaming of that ingredient. I have been on the lookout for sometime for partially hdryogenated anything and high fructose corn syrup. It's so hard to find yummy snacks that don't have those ingredients.