Despite the heavy regulation of food that’s sold today, there’s still one very unhealthy chemical that seems to end up in almost everything you eat—hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils have been linked to obesity in adults and children, heart problems and high cholesterol levels. High consumption of hydrogenated oils can also prevent weight loss or even cause weight gain.
What Is Hydrogenated Oil?
Hydrogenated oil and partially-hydrogenated oil contain trans fats. Over the past few years, news reports have popped up telling consumers how dangerous trans fats are, but hydrogenated oil continues to be put in almost every processed food on the market.
Hydrogenated oil is bad for you because it is artificial—it does not exist at all naturally. It’s created when hydrogen is added to natural oils to extend their shelf life. Those oils can then be used in processed foods to keep them fresh and marketable for a longer amount of time.
How It Slows Weight Loss
There are several ways in which hydrogenated oil keeps you from losing weight. One of its main dangers is that although it’s artificial, in certain ways it acts the same as healthy, natural oils in the body. Although they take up space in the body that is allocated for healthy fats, they do not do any of the same work as the good fats. As a result, they stay in the body longer and you end up with an excess of fat in your system. That excess fat translates to body fat that you have a hard time losing.
Your body needs a certain amount of good fat in order to go through its daily functions. These good fats are abundant in natural foods like fish, eggs and nuts, but are very scarce in processed foods. When you eat processed foods, you’re taking in a huge amount of unhealthy fats that your body doesn’t need and starving it of the fats it does need. You’ll keep feeling hungry and continue eating until you feel full, which doesn’t happen until you’ve gotten all of the good fat you need. This continuous eating can obviously lead to weight gain, especially when you’re eating unhealthy, processed foods.
Another way that hydrogenated oil slows weight loss is by slowing your metabolism down. In most cases, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil is soybean oil. Soybean oil slows down your thyroid functions. Since your thyroid affects both your energy levels and your metabolism, you’ll quickly notice that either you are losing weight very slowly or you are gaining excess weight.
Avoiding Weight Gain and Helping Weight Loss
A long-term solution to regulating your weight loss and avoiding excess weight gain is cutting out hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils from your diet. Check the label of everything you buy and strive to eat natural foods over processed foods. Cutting out hydrogenated oils from your diet will make you feel healthier, help you lose weight and save you from long-term health problems down the road.