For the Love of Baking
The topic of baking sticks has not always put a bee in my bonnet. Did you know that every butter substitute baking stick in the grocery store has partially hydrogenated oils? Look and see for yourself – even brands like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, who have removed partially hydrogenated oils from their table spread/ tub version, still have them in their baking stick products. Why do I care? Consumption of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (a synthetic, “lab fat”) have been linked to numerous, preventable diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes type II, digestive disorders, ADHD in children, and so on. Ingestion of small amounts of partially hydrogenated oils matter: according to Hu et al. (N. Eng. J. Med. 1997, 337:1491-1499), for each 1% increase in fat intake, trans fats (i.e., hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils) increase the risk of coronary heart disease approximately 46% versus only 3% for equivalent amount of saturated fat. When the front of any food package says “No Trans Fats”, yet lists partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient deck, it is because the FDA allows a “No Trans Fat” statement when there is less than 0.5g per serving of trans fat (i.e., industry “loophole”). Baking sticks… who knew?!