Food Stuff

We are what we eat, and I do believe that the food choices we make can affect the course of MS.  I offer no one diet nor banned foods.  I do believe in eating well - but what that means can vary from time to time.

We can discuss diets (extremely low fat, organic, vegetarian, other), and we can debate their merits and demerits. Share what works for you, and I will do the same.

I come from a well-rounded approach to eating.  Not too much, not too often, as real as possible, homegrown if reasonable.  I am open minded to many approaches and want to hear what you've tried and what you know.

Role of Fats In the Diet:  Specifically partially hydrogenated oils

We've got to start somewhere, so let's start with trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. 

There is better technical and medical information out there than I can offer you.  I encourage you to do some research for yourself.

What I can tell you is that food manufacturing takes an unaltered, wholesome oil and (at extremely high temperatures and pressures in the presence of a catalyst) turns it into a product that is now more like a goo than an oil.  This is done to reduce refrigeration needs and to increase shelf stability.  No one ever said it was good for anyone.  It just makes food processing more convenient.

Why is this of concern with MS?  This food product that we are consuming is not a natural one - it is wholly manufactured.  There is evidence that the body does not have the mechanisms to effectively break it down and use it as food.  There is evidence that the body may view the trans fat a a foreign substance and initiate an immune response.  With the immune system component of MS, I sure don't want to encourage an over active response.  Plus, there is NOTHING valuable to you in this product. So, why take the chance!

If you decide to eliminate the trans fats from your diet I would encourage you to read nutrition labels and ingredient lists.  Look for grams of trans fat in the Fats Section,  But, beware, just because it says 0 grams it does not mean there is no trans fat.  It just means there is less than 1 gram in a single serving.  Look carefully at the ingredient list for the words "partially hydrogenated" oils of any kind. Eliminate these foods from you diet.  I'm still surprised at the breadth of products they are found in: baked goods, crackers, bread crumbs, baking mixes, margarine, soups, bakery frosting, microwave popcorn, fried food, fast food ....)

The good news is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a ban on trans fats (because of known heart health risks).  The bad news, it will take time for the regulation to take effect.  In the meantime, read your labels and make good choices!

Please share your thoughts on partially hydrogenated oils in a comment.

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