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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Hydrogenated oils present health danger

With summer just around the corner, worries about self-image begin to run through the minds of teenage girls. Awareness about eating habits increases as girls try gain that perfect figure.

?Girls are under so much pressure to look good, especially around summer,? Danae Cook, ?05, said. ?I am definitely becoming more aware of eating healthy and staying active to be in shape for activities coming up during the summer and towards the end of school.?

Many teens choose to diet, eat healthier foods, exercise more and some even eat less in order to loose weight as spring approaches. Some become more aware of food labels which promote ?reduced fat?, ?low carb? or ?low calorie?.

But after much research, one common ingredient was found to be the most important of them all- partially hydrogenated oil. Partially hydrogenated oil is used solely to keep processed food fresh for longer periods of time.

Many people do not know about the long-term effects of this fat on the body. Too much intake of hydrogenated oil may result in heart disease, stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. The most common result is obesity.

?This fat simply clogs up your arteries,? Sharon Scharf, home economics teacher, said. ?The higher the content, the more apt the cholesterol is to stick to the arteries, building up on the walls of your arteries. That creates slower blood flow and increases the risks of heart disease.?

Not only is it important to watch the body?s fat intake, but also how much one exercises. Although there is little that can be done to reverse the effects of this fat, exercising is extremely vital to health, helping to counter weight gain.

?I usually do not pay much attention to my eating habits,? Alisa Reynolds, ?07, said. ?But how can I be more aware of what I should be eating??

Although hydrogenated oils are never healthy, other fats such as saff flower oil and canola oil are good in small amounts for normal nutrition. Alternative foods like organic products, whole grains, all fruits and vegetables, dairy products and meat or fish are options that do not contain hydrogenated oil.

In a recent National Food Survey, it was discovered that, on average, teens and children were consuming less than half of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables. One out of five surveyed was not eating fruit at all during the week of study.

The most common food recorded in the survey, eaten by over 80%, was products containing hydrogenated oils: potato chips, broiled and baked potatoes and biscuits according to (www.langley-grammar.slough.sch.uk/Healthy%20Schools/Healthyteen.htm).

The facts and effects of this killer fat are clear, yet many still choose to gorge themselves with foods made with this unhealthy product.

?It is not very important to me that I eat healthy,? Lorin Westkamp, ?08, said. ?I am usually active most of the time, and I am involved in physical activities to stay in shape.?

Others eat these foods because they lack time, due to homework, jobs, after school sports and social activities. They find picking up something while they are on the go to be an easy alternative to preparing healthy foods.

But some students are more concerned about the issue, and still take time to find a healthy snack to eat.

?Being active in sports and busy with homework makes it hard to take time to eat healthy,? Kassy Batesole, ?06, said. ?But I know it is important to make good eating choices, so I have decided to be aware of what I?m eating and what is best for my health.?

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