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Are Hydrogenated Oils Bad For You?



Short answer

Hydrogenated oils are extremely harmful to the human body. Due to the nature in which it corresponds with the body’s biochemistry, hydrogenated oils are linked to adverse effects on blood circulation and degenerative brain disorders.



Long answer

Hydrogenated oils are derived from relatively healthy oils such as palm, kernel, soybean, corn or coconut oil.  These naturally occurring oils are transformed from the liquid state to a semi-solid or solid state, by a process called hydrogenation.  We refer the semi-solid state as partially hydrogenated oil (Trans-fats) and the solid state as hydrogenated oil.  These healthy (unsaturated fat) oils are heated to an extremely high temperature and place in a high-pressure atmosphere.  They are infused with hydrogen and a heavy metal catalyst, such as nickel, platinum, or aluminum.  Hydrogenation turns unsaturated fats into saturated fats and these fats fill space in the body that does not belong to them.  This industrial processing of the oil, in effect, removes the oil’s ability to decompose.  In addition to the enhanced preservation time, hydrogenated oil’s molecular structure is similar to plastic.  Due to the increased density, your heart now has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body.

Hydrogenated oils are added to food, as a long-lasting preservative.  Perishable organic foods are transformed into products that are essentially non-biodegradable.  During the body’s metabolic process, the hydrogenated oil is broken down and the blood begins to circulate through the body.  The plastic-like remains of the broken down oil do not flow well in the blood stream and begin to accumulate in the arteries.  This build-up of this substance can lead to heart attacks and strokes.  Additionally, the heavy metals used in hydrogenation, are believed to be the cause of scarring on the arterial walls.  As a result of the scars, the body releases higher amounts of cholesterol to heal the damaged inner walls of the artery.  Surgeons have witnessed a thick fatty substance in the arteries of patients undergoing surgery, later discovered to be the remnants of hydrogenated oils from the day prior when the patient had eaten fast food.

Hydrogenated oils have been shown to cause nerve damage in brain cells, both by poor blood circulation and the presence of heavy metals, affecting the synapses relay.  The poor blood circulation also contributes grave effects on the brain.  The constriction of blood flow in the body can also lead to degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.  There may also be a link to ADHD and other forms of cluttered cognitive activity, which is a result of the ingestion of foods containing hydrogenated oils.  As previously mentioned, aluminum is often used as a catalyst in this process.  Aluminum has also been linked as a cause of rapid acceleration in many cases of Alzheimer’s disease.      

It is important to note that hydrogenated oils are not the same as Partially Hydrogenated oils.  Ironically, fully hydrogenated oils are actually less dangerous than partially hydrogenated oils.  It is extremely difficult to completely avoid hydrogenated oils.  They have become a regular ingredient in most processed foods and foods prepared at home.  Try your best to minimize your exposure by checking labels of store-bought items and preparing meals at home with pure organic ingredients to eliminate the presence of the oil. 


Possible short-term side effects

  • inflammation

Possible long-term side effects

  • hypertension
  • high cholesterol
  • adhd
  • alzheimer’s disease
  • parkinson’s disease
  • stroke
  • heart disease

Commonly found in

Ingredients to be aware of


  • better preserves food

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Written by DeeAnne Oldham | 12-28-2015

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
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