Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Flamingo?

Instead of a turkey, I will eat a flamingo for Thanksgiving.

I hope it is a lean meat.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Peanut Butter: The OK, The Scary, and the Sham

Peanut prices have gone up, so let's talk peanuts. We talked about peanuts before, but now I want to talk more about heart health, and less about flavor.

The OK
Natural peanut butters whose only ingredients are peanuts, salt, and possibly a sugar are OK for your heart. The ingredient list does not show partially hydrogenated oil. Partially hydrogenated oils give your heart nightmares. They increase the amount of LDLs ("Bad" cholesterol) in your blood. LDLs that contain trans fats are more sticky and clog better in your arteries. 

The Scary
Beware. These are most peanut butters. Example: regular Peter Pan creamy. The ingredient list shows partially hydrogenated oils. These are trans fats. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, hydrogenated oils aren't as bad as partially hydrogenated oils are.

Look out: if the product contains less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving then the Nutrition Facts box can show 0g Trans Fat, and this can be advertised on the front of the label. Sneaky.

The Sham
These are natural peanut butters that contain added (and highly processed) oils. Example: Peter Pan natural. The oil that's added is fractionated. This is palm kernel that has been processed to separate and use only the saturated fats for texture. (Saturated fats in high amounts increase LDLs in your blood too.

I know there is a big debate and blurry lines in the food industry regarding calling things "Natural," but this one should be a no-brainer.

Read your nutrition labels and ingredient lists. Make sure your peanut butter does not contain any added oils.