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Chefs whining about trans fat ban


paulraphael
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C'mon, remember when apples were the target? Coffee?? Et cetera....

I've rolled my eyes at just about every food fad/demonization that's come along. I always check the supporting evidence, and am always amazed to find next to nothing.

Your anti-sugar kick, for example. I've been looking for support for all those claims for years. haven't found any, except concerning people who are diabetic or tend towards unstable blood sugar. Which isn't to say it's healthy to eat with impunity, but that there's a place for it in a balanced diet.

Trans fats, on the other hand, are the one ingredient I've seen completely compelling evidence against. What also sets them apart is that they're unecessary. The artificial variety exists purely for the convenience of food manufacturers. I won't miss them.

There are many bigger problems in the world, but few that are so easy to fix.

I have great respect for all the counter arguments based on limiting the reach of the government. The world would be a scary place without them.

Notes from the underbelly

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C'mon, remember when apples were the target? Coffee?? Et cetera....

...Your anti-sugar kick, for example. I've been looking for support for all those claims for years. haven't found any, except concerning people who are diabetic or tend towards unstable blood sugar. Which isn't to say it's healthy to eat with impunity, but that there's a place for it in a balanced diet...

Well first of all. I am a cake decorator so I'm anti-sugar in that where there's any degree of food policing around--I think it should start there with sugar which is an addicting ingredient. Sugar outranks transfats by leap years in it's omnipresence alone. It's those islets of Langerhans in the pancreas that scream out to us to get me some dessert NOW!!!

All to say I don't think food policing by the government should exist at all.

I think my point is that the people who are diabetic and have unstable blood sugar got there due to sugar in whatever form. High risk heart patients are pre-diabetic. White sugar exacerbating things considerably. Which came first, the chicken or the panoramic egg?

But you think sugar does not dim the eye and damage the pancreas? There are no pancrea transplants. It's that whole insulin production needing to break down the bladeebla whatever and the more fat you carry the more insulin is needed to break through and break it down. So that it doesn't wander around in there and reak havoc.

Dr. Arthur Agatston is a heart doctor and did his own studies into why the Heart Association's prescribed heart healthy diet at the time was not effective. He stumbled upon a diet that worked, hence "The South Beach Diet" was born.

"When insulin isn't working properly, it takes longer that it should to store the fat you just ate. Because of that delay, your liver is being flooded with fatty acids. In response to that, the organ emits harmful particles that deposit fat and cholesterol in the blood vessels of your heart--future blockages, in other words.

So this then is the link between obesity and heart disease. The danger isn't the carbs or the sugars themselves. It 's how they affect your body's ability to process fats. Eating too many jelly doughnuts may not cause a heart attack, but it can and does create the conditions that will lead to one."

He says,"Anything that speeds the process by which your body digests carbohydrates is bad for your diet, and anything that slows it down is good." Sugar is a lightening flash in your body's system.

"Sugar Blues" by William Dufty, 1975 is a book that reveals much about our sugar addictions. He starts with the Holy Wars if memory serves.

So while you may not agree or be persuaded by any of this, nevertheless those two books are where you can be assured that sugar is exposed as the nasty little villian that I believe it to be.

I've gone on two diets in my life. Dr Perricone's 3-day diet and Dr. Agatston's South Beach Diet.

Dr. Pericone's intrigued me because he studied which foods were anti-imflamatory. I have an arthritis and other issues that anything anti-inflamatory sounded wonderful. It really helped my guts to heal. No sugar in it.

Umm, I lost like 40 pounds on South Beach immediately like in three months--on the tasty diet not the foods you can buy already prepared. But umm, no sugar.

I hope this gives a decent enough response to you about my comments about sugar and the evil that I believe to be therein. And where you can go to learn about that side of the argument.

But let me say one more time, I'm a baker and a cake decorator. I think sugar should be used in extreme moderation because it is so damaging/addicting.

And it's great in celebration foods. I use it in celebration foods. For stuff at home just for me & hubby, I like to keep some nutmeats in the picture when I use splenda or sugar. When someone hires me to bake for them, I don't impose my own dietary safeguards on them.

I am NOT any kind of expert here. I can possibly answer some questions, I can look stuff up. But what cannot be refuted is that my health has improved to the zillionth of degrees through my efforts of late including the omission of sugar for the most part from my diet. And it goes straight to hell when I eat sugary stuff too.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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White flour has no nutritional value and routinely destroys blood chemistry.

I can't let this one pass. I assume/hope it's hyperbole, but would anyway like to point out that it's a ridiculous assertion if not deliberate hyperbole. There are plenty of peoples throughout history who have subsisted largely on food products made of white flour, so it is incorrect on its face to say that it has no nutritional value. As to whether it "destroys blood chemistry," I've never seen anything with any credibility whatsoever to suggest such a thing.

Here are some interesting and relevant quotes from "On Food and Cooking" (1st Ed):

"...the popular view today is that whole grain bread, because it contains the vitamin-rich germ and fiber-rich bran, is more nutritious and better for our general health than refined flour breads.  This, in turn, is a relatively recent reaction against centuries, even millennia, of a rather unreflective preference for lighter breads.

"...as for whole wheat in particular: it is true that whole grain flour contains more protein, minerals and vitamins than refined flour, including as it does the nutritionally valuable germ and aleurone layer, as well as the mostly indigestible bran.  But it is also true that most of these nutrients pass through the digestive tract unabsorbed because the indigestible carbohydrates complex with them and speed their passage out of the system.  The nutrients in white bread do not suffer such losses.

"...the epidemic of rickets that struck the children of Dublin after three years of wartime rations of dairy products and whole wheat bread.  The combination of marginal supplies of calcium and vitamin D and the calcium-complexing activity of phytic acid, which is concentrated in the aleurone layer, was enough to tip the balance from health to serious disease.  Similar problems with iron and zinc have been studied among the poor in Egypt and Iran."

Now what I meant here is that for example, pretzels have a high glycemic index. They are generally made of white flour. Stuff like that zings the blood sugar more so than chips for example even trans fatty ones according to Dr. Agatson, South Beach Diet fame. This causes you to produce more insulin to digest it and this rankles your blood sugar and creates a hunger pang as well. Eating the wrong carbs makes you crave to eat more carbs. I know this is true of me. I'm not a doctor or a scientist.

Let me quote him please.

"Three groups of overweight adolescents were fed breakfast of identical calorie counts. One groups' meal was 20 percent fat, 16 percent protein, and roughly two-thirds carbs, but the good kind, steel cut oats meaning the flakes were large and the kernel of the oat was unprocessed and so the fiber was intact.

The second group also had a two-thirds carbs breakfast, but they were served instant oatmeal, where the fiber has been stripped away to permit shorter cooking time.

The third group's meal was identical to a typical South Beach Diet breakfast--vegetable omelets.

After breakfast, members of all three groups were instructed to eat anything they wanted for the next five hours....

The omlet folks ate the least afterwards. The instant oatmeal kids ate the most after that.

"Eating bad carbohydrates--especially highly processed ones--creates cravings for more bad carbs, which ultimately is responsible for our epidemic of obesity. It's hard to overestimate the connection between bad carbs, obesity and cardiac health." The good Doctor reports.

The omlet folks ate the least afterwards. The instant oatmeal kids ate the most after that.

It's called reactive hypoglycemia.

I mean I don't know how the kids in Dublin got rickets. To use your same argument, are you saing that eating whole wheat stuff gives you the rickets? No, of course not. They were in yet another of Ireland's famous famines, starving. They obviously needed some vegetables & stuff huh?

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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Trans fats, on the other hand, are the one ingredient I've seen completely compelling evidence against.

Well you must not have looked terribly hard, because trans fats are not the only fats linked to heart disease, as the studies I cited earlier in this thread show in great detail. In most studies that examine the relationships between specific fatty acids and heart disease, similar relationships are found with both saturated and trans fatty acids (e.g. the massive WHI randomized study [Howard et al, 2006], discussed earlier in the thread). Once we start down the path of regulating the fat content of food, I see no reason not to believe that saturated fat content will be near the top of the list of parameters to be regulated. Indeed, to quote again from The 2005 USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

Population-based studies of American diets show that intake of saturated fat is more excessive than intake of trans fats and cholesterol. Therefore, it is most important for Americans to decrease their intake of saturated fat.
What also sets them apart is that they're unecessary.

And that, of course, is merely your own personal opinion, and while you're certainly entitled to your opinion, don't kid yourself -- it is just an opinion. And the thing about opinions is that we all have our own, and they don't agree: you happen to think trans fats aren't necessary, while other people think full-fat milk isn't necessary, or butter isn't necessary, or alfredo isn't necessary, or meals with 1000 calories and 50 grams of fat arent necessary, and so on. Since we all have our own opinions, it seems to me that the only way to preserve my freedom to eat what I want is to preserve the freedom of others to eat whay they want, even if others happen to want to eat things like trans fats.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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...Since we all have our own opinions, it seems to me that the only way to preserve my freedom to eat what I want is to preserve the freedom of others to eat whay they want, even if others happen to want to eat things like trans fats.

That's it in a nutshell. For me, and in my opinion.

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I mean I don't know how the kids in Dublin got rickets. To use your same argument, are you saing that eating whole wheat stuff gives you the rickets? No, of course not. They were in yet another of Ireland's famous famines, starving.  They obviously needed some vegetables & stuff huh?

Well, honestly you are right, more than dairy and whole wheat were rationed during that war. Including sugar, gasoline, coal and chocolate. I don't see any "correlative" studies done on the famine concluding that the lack of sugar, gasoline, coal and chocolate contributed to rickets.

I thought citrus was the cure all for that particular malady? I'm sure they were hard to come by in war era Ireland as well.

I think if you approach a "study" with a preconceived intention of the outcome, people tend to consciously or subconsciously stack the deck in order to reach the conclusion they are looking for so desperately.

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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Well you must not have looked terribly hard, because trans fats are not the only fats linked to heart disease

Yes, I know other things can lead to heart disease. Almost anything out of balance can be unhealthy. The question is, is there room for ingredient X in a healthy, balanced diet? There's certainly room for saturated fats and refined sugar, in moderation.

Trans fats on the other hand appear to be more harmful in smaller quantities than other nutrients.

Your point about it being a matter of opinion which ingredients are necessary raises an interesting question ... it makes me wonder what a chef might need trans fats for. Besides just doing things the way they're used to doing them.

I understand why industry likes them for preservation of texture in processed foods, but I honestly wonder what couldn't be done as well or better without them in a restaurant kitchen. This is culinary question, not a regulatory one.

Notes from the underbelly

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...Since we all have our own opinions, it seems to me that the only way to preserve my freedom to eat what I want is to preserve the freedom of others to eat whay they want, even if others happen to want to eat things like trans fats.

That's it in a nutshell. For me, and in my opinion.

Me three. But except for head cheese--I can't even stand to look at it much less think of what's in there. Spam now is ok. Head cheese is out. :raz:

Corn syrup and cake mix would probably run second & third, ahh...

:laugh:

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K8memphis,

you have to be really careful about what you read in diet books. The title "Doctor" seems to have no connection to the veracity of the information. Medical schools do not teach nutrition, and they do not teach people how to do research.

Any information that isn't backed by a study that's been published in a peer reviewed journal is about as compelling as heresay.

Notable authors who made careers out of citing unpublished studies include Dr. Atkins and Bary Sears (the guy behind "The Zone"). The real journals are full of studies contradicting almost everything these two ever said. But it didn't stop them from selling boxcars worth of diet books.

Do yourself a favor and look for real studies on the subject. You might even find some reviews of this particular doctor's claims.

Notes from the underbelly

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...Since we all have our own opinions, it seems to me that the only way to preserve my freedom to eat what I want is to preserve the freedom of others to eat whay they want, even if others happen to want to eat things like trans fats.

That's it in a nutshell. For me, and in my opinion.

Me three. But except for head cheese--I can't even stand to look at it much less think of what's in there. Spam now is ok. Head cheese is out. :raz:

Corn syrup and cake mix would probably run second & third, ahh...

:laugh:

Sorry babe. Hubby loves a hunka, hunka head cheese (gross to me). But, he tolerates my (inexplicable to him) preference for dumping ketchup on deep fried chicken livers (he can't understand not smothering them in the onion gravy, I make for him).

We got each other's back!

Corn syrup? How else would I make marshmallows for my children to stuff themselves with empty calories?

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K8memphis,

you have to be really careful about what you read in diet books. The title "Doctor" seems to have no connection to the veracity of the information. Medical schools do not teach nutrition, and they do not teach people how to do research.

Any information that isn't backed by a study that's been published in a peer reviewed journal is about as compelling as heresay.

Notable authors who made careers out of citing unpublished studies include Dr. Atkins and Bary Sears (the guy behind "The Zone"). The real journals are full of studies contradicting almost everything these two ever said. But it didn't stop them from selling boxcars worth of diet books.

Do yourself a favor and look for real studies on the subject. You might even find some reviews of this particular doctor's claims.

Have you seen the peer reviewed studies that concluded that the Atkins diet actually lowered cholesterol in individuals who had problems controlling cholesterol otherwise? I guess I have to go dig them up, but I remember reading them when I kind of scolded my sister who had a gastric bypass for being on Atkins. Had to eat crow. Prefer mine stuffed and roasted, though braised is my next experiment when I am forced to eat it.

All PhD's who are in the medical profession are "practising" and there is so much they don't know about individual's, genetics, and the variations within the population and gene pool. That kind of bothers me about studies, blanket bans, and a nanny state telling me I must not eat something. It is so individualized - if it makes you feel better physically then do it. If you feel like crap, well stop that!

You would be amazed at how many doctors use just this method to determine drug dosages, diet and exercise reccomendations.

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Your point about it being a matter of opinion which ingredients are necessary raises an interesting question ... it makes me wonder what a chef might need trans fats for. Besides just doing things the way they're used to doing them. . . I honestly wonder what couldn't be done as well or better without them in a restaurant kitchen.

If I were an impatient person, I would just point out that I've answered this question at least two times already, and refer you to my previous answers. First of all -- whether something is "well or better" is a completely and inescapabably subjective judgement, no matter how much some foodies might like to think otherwise, and I don't doubt that there are those who actually prefer the texture of baked goods make with shortening. And according to at least some tests, like the one in Cook's Illustrated, the trans-shortening has a slight textural edge over the newer trans-free shortenings -- the different versions produce extremely similar, but not identical results. So, its not so much a question of why do you need them, because there is nothing you can't make without it, its a matter of different people having their own subjective opinions about what is pleasing to eat.

ETA: Just so I'm clear, I don't think there is anything that can't be done well without shortening, and I think that doughs made with all shortening and no butter are blech. I just realize that this is my opinion, a subjective judgement.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I agree wholeheartedly, and I can't tell you how many thousands of hours (literally) I've spent doing just that. Far too often these discussions about nutrition and food safety are devoid of any discussion or critique of the actual scientific evidence.

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K8memphis,

you have to be really careful about what you read in diet books. The title "Doctor" seems to have no connection to the veracity of the information. Medical schools do not teach nutrition, and they do not teach people how to do research.

Any information that isn't backed by a study that's been published in a peer reviewed journal is about as compelling as heresay.

Notable authors who made careers out of citing unpublished studies include Dr. Atkins and Bary Sears (the guy behind "The Zone"). The real journals are full of studies contradicting almost everything these two ever said. But it didn't stop them from selling boxcars worth of diet books.

Do yourself a favor and look for real studies on the subject. You might even find some reviews of this particular doctor's claims.

PaulRaphael, You are right. I very carefully read what was in that diet book, applied it to my life and how about my own review, one peer to another: I successfully lost 40 pounds then another ten. Kept it off for going on two years, improved my health immensely. Even if all the peer reviews and all the kings horses said, "Those diets are bunk." I would still have lost that weight and improved my health. Got bunk?

Do yourself a favor, my friend, and lose the condescending attitude.

You asked me a question about where I got the information about sugar. I gave it to you. Now you are entitled to your opinion about the books and I am interested to know what you might think however you need to read them first.

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What conclusions? Stuff like this (from one of your cites)?

"CONCLUSION: TFAs are strongly associated with systemic inflammation in patients with heart disease, which suggests that attention to TFA intake may be important for secondary prevention efforts."

Members of my family who have/had heart disease have problems when they drink too much water - or eat too much salt. Should we ban those things too?

I doubt this ban will save 1 life every ten years - because chefs are now working to substitute palm oil for Crisco type things - and we know how great tropical oils are for our health - don't we? And if the chefs use butter instead of palm oil - well it's still the same number of calories. And all those fat people who are fat and will get fatter despite a trans-fat ban will still be at high risk for heart disease - diabetes - etc.

So what's the point of this? Being fat is bad for your health - and eating too much fat makes you fat. Doesn't matter what kind of fat you're talking about. You can get fat and unhealthy eating too much olive oil.

I am sure I eat a lot of things that aren't great for me - but I tend to eat those things in extreme moderation - or as special treats. My late MIL's crisco pie crust was the best. As are some dishes I like that are made with tropical oils - or the occasional roast beef (loaded with saturated fat). Too bad the government can't legislate self-restraint. Robyn

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It is absurd for the government to legislate fois gras and shortening while allowing sugar to damage the pancreas, dim the eye and rot the teeth. White flour has no nutritional value and routinely destroys blood chemistry.

Well, fois gras is an ethics issue, not a health issue, so it's not the same thing.

As far as sugar and white flour doing horrible things, I have yet to see any clinical evidence of them being the villains that certain health food communities make them out to be. And I've done a lot of searches through orignal research on Pub Med looking for it. On the other hand, there are mountains of evidence linking trans fats to heart disease.

In general I've believed the axiom that there are no bad foods, only bad diets ... but trans fats call this into question. They really appear to be as bad as the hype suggests.

Of course foie gras is a health issue. Organ meat is absolutely terrible for you. The only retort I've ever heard is that no one can afford enough foie gras to suffer any ill effects from it. Robyn

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Did you mean to include the word "don't" in that sentence?

Haha, yes, I meant "don't" ... so annoying to say the exact opposite of what you're trying to say. I was talking about the same study that you mentioned, that found low incidence of heart disease among Inuits.

The French seem like an anomaly because most older studies ignored that regional diets high in saturated fat tend to also be high in hydrogenated oils. The French and the Inuits provide interesting models because their diets are high in the saturated fats but not the trans fats.

I'll have to go back and see where my information on China came from. If I'm wrong I apologise for the misinformation.

None of these broad population-based studies is controlled for genetic differences, but fow whatever reasons the researchers don't seem to think this is a major factor.

In general, recent research, focussed on distinguishing between different fatty acids, supports that trans fats are a more potent culprit in CHD.

Here's a metastudy published this year:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...l=pubmed_docsum

Genetics happens to be a huge factor. Ask anyone like my father (no one in his family has ever had CAD) or my late mother (everyone in her family has/had CAD). They all ate the same things - smoked the same amount - etc. Bypass surgery increased longevity in my mother's family by at least 15-20 years. Robyn

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