March 15, 2012

Margarine Makes You Angry....Then Kills You!

This is where it all started...
In keeping with the theme of food and death, I came across another study that was just too good too ignore. This one was  recently published examining the negative emotional effects of eating trans fats (including margarine).  For the overview, check out for more details.

As a Seinfeld fan (my dream is to teach a health promotion course based upon episodes of Seinfeld) my only understanding of "the Twinkie Defense" came from him (pretty much everything I know about history came from him...kidding...really). That was, until I watched the movie "Milk" (highly recommend it - Sean Penn - brilliant). Note: spoiler alert! This historical overview details his life and death in politics. In the end, his assassin (and lawyer) blamed a diet rich in junk food as a reason behind his murderous rampage - this came to be known as the "Twinkie Defense".

Based upon recent discoveries, it may not be as ridiculous as we once thought. This study is suggesting that eating trans fats including margarine will make you angry.  So THAT's why I've been is such a bad mood for so long (kidding....sort of).  It appears we are launching into a new (and exciting) realm of research; studying the emotional influences food may have. We know that chocolate can make us happier (and certainly a few glasses of red wine can make the world a better place), eating proteins before bed may keep us awake, and carbohydrates lull us into a coma (not that I would know anything about that) so it should come as no surprise that trans fats could piss us off.

I wonder if this will ever be revisited
in the courts. Perhaps, one day, junk
food will be found guilty...
I guess that makes reason #278 why we should avoid trans fats. I have to say, I've been preaching the evils of margarine for a while now and trying to get my clients to switch to butter or coconut oil instead. There a fight going on between what we have learned over the years about saturated fat and what we are starting to understand about it (not that the science hasn't been there all's what they did with it (or didn't do with it) that influenced our attitudes towards it. I have been cooking with butter for over three months now and haven't gained any weight over it.

The trend towards low-fat or no-fat foods over the last 20 years could be the culprit behind our obesity rates and our increased cancer rates...I'm just sayin'.  This food is chemicalized and unnatural - in my humble opinion, it shouldn't be consumed. I've always been a proponent of choosing natural over chemicalized. For example, if you are craving yogurt (I don't know who would crave yogurt but that's just my own crazy hangup) reach for the whole Greek-style stuff over the rest. Check out the ingredients list and you will know what's chemical rich and what's not. Craving chocolate? Go for the good stuff. Craving hot buttered popcorn or ice cream? Avoid the non-fat and get the whole food. That is Real Life Health eating....and it's good for you.

In the meantime, I may try my own experiment; eating a chocolate covered Twinkie and seeing if they cancel each other out (will I get angry, happy, or really moody?). Kinda like tying a piece of buttered toast to a cat and dropping it out the window of the first floor (of course) would it land?

I'll keep ya posted.

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