By Thelma Ledford
Wouldn’t you just love to be able to eat all the fat you wanted without the “side-affects?” Well, scientific food laboratories are coming to your rescue. Or, are they creating another problem for us? The food chemists have been working on “artificial” fats since the l960s. Two products, Olestra and Simplesse, are now being used in our foods.
Some people say, “Hurrah!” A calorie-free fat! I can eat all I want now and not suffer the consequences of my undisciplined appetite. Just satisfy the taste buds at any expense! Surely none of my readers would ever say this, would they? Readers of this column should not be confused about these products. We need only one word to tell us if the body will appreciate them—artificial. They know that the body has its own detective system which rejects and attacks things which are not on its list. They have learned that the body is smart!
Olestra is the generic name for sucrose polyester (sounds like something you wear). It is a synthetic (not food) combination of sucrose and fatty acids, but it is unlike either of them, and it is not digestible. Sucrose, commonly known as table sugar, fatty acids are fats and oil (triglycerides), the body cannot digest synthetics so this olestra passes through the digestive tract unabsorbed. Its presence in the GI tract is supposed to reduce blood cholesterol concentrations. It is an action plan to deceive the body. Has it reduced cholesterol? Eating food with cholesterol is not the problem.
Olestra looks, feels, and tastes like dietary fat, and can be a used as a substitute in cooking without our knowing it is included. It is not suppose to diminish the flavor, add calories, or raise the blood lipids. Don’t be fooled by the trap. It is not food! What are the side-affects? One undesirable side affect they have discovered is that it interferes with Vitamin E absorption, which is critical for the heart and many other vital functions of the body. For people routinely using olestra an intake of two times the RDA of Vitamin E is suggested, but will this work?
Simplese is another fat substitute. It is fabricated in a process they call microparticulation which heats and blends proteins from egg whites, or milk, into tiny round particles. The company has altered the naturally occurring proteins in order to create the “perception” of fat. The tongue perceives creaminess because of the extremely small size of protein particles. It is unsuited for frying or baking as it will gel.
Olestra and Simplesse differ in that the olestra is a sucrose polyester, not digestible, and Simplesse is made of protein, and can be digested and absorbed, and it is lower in calories, and it is not available for home use, but manufacturers can use it in dairy products, such as, ice cream, in yogurt and sour cream, and in oil-based products such as salad dressings, mayonnaise, or margarine.
It looks like the food chemists are mastering the art of fooling us with artificial so-called “foods.” I haven’t heard anymore since it was placed in the marketplace. I’m sure our living human body will not accept it. What do you think? How can we know where it is?
Isn’t it shocking to realize just how many products sold as “food” today have nothing whatsoever to do with nourishing our physical bodies? But, it is exciting to see thousands of us rejecting these “deceptive foods.” Read the labels. Manufacturers, please get the message. Some of us will not buy it, if we know it. The financial stakes are enormous for P&G; they have invested $100 million in the development. The annual market for its use in their products was projected to be one billion in ten years. As of now, it has been on the market a long time.
Who can tell what will be the outcome of the use of artificial fats? Are you willing to be an experimental lab? If you feel like I do, then the next challenge is how do we avoid them? I have no idea how to avoid this. It is still best to go back to the basics, isn’t it?
By Thelma Ledford