Before you freak out on me for talking smack about your drug of choice, please give me a chance to explain. First, I’m not going to lie, I am a daily coffee drinker. A good cup o’ joe makes my 4am alarm clocks not quite as life altering. So, if I, Jessica Aubrey, food nazi, drink coffee, how could I say it may be killing you?
The answer is what you msy be putting in your coffee. I work in a place where I’m surrounded by Coffee Mate creamers. Many people actually have a little coffee with their creamer instead of a little creamer with their coffeee.
But Jessica…everything in moderation, right?
I am a FIRM believer in not developing orthorexia nervosa, which I am sure I could have been diagnosed with a couple years ago (This is a proposed eating disorder or mental disorder characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy). It’s important for everyone to find what works for them; to find what balances them physiologically, mentally, emotionally, & spiritually. This will look different for each individual. HOWEVER, there are some things that should be avoided by everybody at all times. Like…rat poison for instance. That’s not really something that fits into the “everything in moderation” philosophy, does it. Ok, now take that mindset, and that’s where we’re going with a key ingredient in most coffee creamers (and processed foods…ready for it?
HYDROGENATED AND/OR PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS AKA TRANS FATS
Oh I hate those words…
You and I are friends, right?? Well, duh we are! I get really protective of my friends, so when I know something is harming you, I want to fly in with my imaginary superhero cape and shield you from these harmful ingredients with my super shield of super knowledge. Now you know how I feel about this subject.
I want you to understand what these are and why, for the sake of our friendship, for the sake of your family, your loved ones, and your future… you should avoid them at all costs… 🙂
What are they/How are they made?
Hydrogenated oils are regular seemingly healthy oils that are HIGHLY processed. They are heated at temperatures anywhere from 500-1,000 degrees under several athmospheres of pressure. They then inject a catalyst into the oil, which is usually a metal such as nickle, platinum, or aluminum. As this combines with the oil, the molecular structure of the oil changes and is rearranged, transforming what once was a liquid at room temperature to a solid. That, ladies and gents is how we get Crisco, margarine, and the “non-perishable” fats they inject into processed foods. This finished product of hydrogenated oil now resembles plastic much more than any oil, it infact is only 1 molecule away from the molecular structure of plastic. Yummm….
How is it harmful?
Well, broski, now that the oil is thicker and denser, when you consume it, it has a thickening effect on your blood. The thicker your blood, the more difficult it is for your heart to pump it to where it needs to go in the body, this is where high blood pressure comes in.
All this thick gooey stuff in the blood can also cause plaque on arterial walls. Obviously this is no-bueno. In some studies it has been shown that such oils contributes to high cholesterol because it actually scars the internal walls of the arteries. This could be attributed to the nickle that is often used in the hydrogenation process. Our ingeniously created bodies then produce cholesterol in attempts to heal the walls of the arteries. Too much of this scaring and cholesterol build up becomes a major bummer in the long run when your heart cannot efficiently pump blood or a blockage is formed.
Decreased blood flow to the brain due to arterial build up IN ADDITION to the metals used in hydrogenation both increase risk for mental/emotional disorders and diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, & Dementia. Yikes!
From a digestive perspective, hydrogenated oils are pretty much impossible to breakdown and absorb. I take that back…they can absolutely be broken down, but in order to get your body temperature high enough to break them down, you’d be dead. Obviously our bodies don’t heat up that high, but as our bodies attempt to digest the plastic-like substance, enzymes and energy in large quantities is sent to the stomach. This increases the temperature of the stomach while decreasing enzyme availability in the body, both increasing risk of different cancers.
Speaking of cancer… which most people would like to go without experiencing.. Hydrogenated oils are known to significantly increase risk for many types of cancer. Check out these studies…
“A study looking at the trans-fat levels and diet of 20,000 women over a period of seven years and showed that women with higher levels of trans-monounsaturated fatty acids (trans fats AKA hydrogenated oils) were 75% more likely to get breast cancer than women with lower levels. A further study on men showed that high trans-fat levels made them twice as likely to develop prostate tumors.
Another study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed an 86% increase in the risk of developing pre-cancerous polyps on the colon for people with higher levels of trans-fats in their diet.” – http://cancertreatmentmx.com/hydrogenated-fats-cause-cancer/
So… Now you know a bit about nasty hydrogenated oils. Keep in mind this information is only about one of the many harmful ingredients in typical coffee creamers. This isn’t even including GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) ingredients, artificial sweeteners, artificial colorings, or the myriad of other harmful additives present in that little bottle. Just incase you easily shrugged off those proven effects of hydrogenated oils on the body, here are a few more articles you can read about on the damage these other ingredients cause…
Artificial Sweeteners & High Fructose Corn Syrup (Aspartame, saccharine, sucralose, splenda, etc…)
Now it’s time you ask yourself… IS IT REALLY WORTH IT? I understand you love your sweet, creamy coffee. The great part is, I’m not even asking you to give it up! I’m asking you to switch to a delicious & nutritious alternative! Even my stubborn boyfriend approved of the switch. If he can do it, so can you!
Check out the options below…
SO Delicious coffee creamers (check out the barista style!)- http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-creamers
Raw milk cream – http:///raw-cream/
Flavored stevias (hazelnut, vanilla, chocolate…) http://www.amazon.com/Sweetleaf-Flavored-Sweetener-Vanilla-Bottles/dp/B000FBL8NM
Madhava Organic coffee syrups (salted caramel, vanilla, hazelnut)- http://www.madhavasweeteners.com/coffee-syrup/organic-coffee-syrups/
Homemade coffee creamer- http://www.jessicaaubreyrn.com/homemade-dairy-free-creamer/
OR Try a Superfood Peppermint Mocha!- http://www.jessicaaubreyrn.com/jessicas-superfood-peppermint-mocha/
Have an awesome day!!!
RN & Health Coach