Most parents do not know what trans fatty acids are, and unfortunately they are slowly reaping the consequences of trusting food manufacturers and a “leave it to the doctor” attitude. No wonder many of them have kids with diagnostic labels that dictate that there is no known cause and no known cure. No wonder they are saddled with doctor and pharmacy bills. They have not been educated on one of the fundamental keys to “healing the impossible,” and the media is fueling their ignorance.
The Problem Crosses All Social Lines
I’m often frustrated to see grocery shopping carts loaded with products containing trans fatty acids. They are being pushed by mothers looking ten years older than their ages, who are trying to control their hyperactive kids. As well, I am baffled when I see children from families of obvious means, expensively dressed, sitting in high-tech strollers, eating from fast food boxes. It causes me to reflect on how physicians with key positions in the Harvard School of Public Health have been fruitlessly trying to get the message of trans fats across for decades. They know it’s not easy to fight the financially powerful lobbying of not only the huge food manufacturing industry, but drug-dominated medicine as well.
If parents gave up one hour of television for a couple of nights to read about trans fatty acids, they could become a master of how to get these dangerous fats out of the diet and out of their children’s bodies. They could learn how to do a proper oil change that requires no prescription, yet can dramatically change the current and future health of the entire family.
The Real Story Behind the Making of Chicken Nuggets
The Wall Street Journal had an article that told how upper-middle-class parents often feed their kids chicken nuggets three to five times a week. The parents had an inkling that there might be something unhealthful about them, but they were eager to be duped by the hope that they contained high-quality protein in the form of chicken.
The best part of the article was when they showed how food items like chicken nuggets are made. First, they take chickens (that have been fed a nearly continual diet of antibiotics throughout their pesticide-exposed lifetimes) and grind the meat, including as much skin as possible. This is particularly harmful because the skin holds more pesticides, antibiotic residues, heavy metals, and other environmental chemicals than does the meat. These fowl are notoriously ridden with many bacteria, cancers, and viruses.
Trans-fatty acids are hidden in baby formula, boxed breakfast cereals, breakfast toaster treats, candy bars, cookies, pretzels, crackers, chips, dips, breads, salad dressings, and nearly all snack foods, as well as TV dinners and many other prepared foods.
Then they add spices like MSG (which fosters food addiction), bread, batter, more chemicals, and their favorite: partially hydrogenated soybean oil. This oil is the main source of the trans fatty acids. As if that is not enough, they also fry this batter/paste in even more hydrogenated soybean oil or vegetable oil, which raises the level of the health-damaging and cancer-causing trans fatty acids. Of course, it’s usually served with even more trans fatty acids disguised as French fries.
A High-Fat, Low-Protein Choice
The protein content of the nuggets is alarmingly low, while the fat content is unhealthfully high. What was the Wall Street Journal’s solution or take-home message for yuppie parents? Mind you, the author should know that stealth trans fatty acids in the diet make a beeline to the cell membranes, contributing heavily to metabolic syndrome, also called Syndrome X, with heightened sugar cravings, marked obesity, and inability to lose weight, all of which are at epidemic levels. Yet, the solution did not address the need for healthful essential fatty acids and a true oil change for the body.
Instead, the article included a little recipe for mothers to make their own chicken nuggets at home, using canola oil (which is often genetically modified and turns into trans fatty acids when used for frying), and bread crumbs, which probably contain hydrogenated oils with trans fats.
The author missed a golden opportunity to instruct parents on the importance of replacing processed foods that contain trans fatty acids with nutrient rich, healing whole foods that would help give their families a much needed oil change.
Parker-Pope, T. Heart disease hits the preschool set. Chicken-nugget boom leads to concerns about kids’ health. Wall Street Journal, D1, D4, Mar 18, 2003.
Winslow R. New research shows warning signs begin in early childhood, Wall Street Journal D1, D4, Mar 18, 2003.