Trans-Fats Could Make You Stupid

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The headlines scare me:

New Scientist – High-fat diet could harm the brain by Helen Phillips

BioEd Online – High-fat diet is bad for the brain by Jim Giles

Prevention – Are These Foods Really Healthy? by Dayna Winter, RD

Negative press is not new for trans-fats or hydrogenated oils. They have been implicated in heart disease for years now. Why do these headlines scare me when the others didn’t?

I have realized that I am more scared of being stupid than dying. Dying of heart disease means a heart attack, of which I would only have a minimal chance of surviving. If I did survive, I would probably die of the second heart attack, which would be guaranteed to be only a few years later. Death is easy.

Being stupid for the rest of my life, however, sounds like a fate worse than death. Knowing that I used to be smart and now unable to think as well as I used to is more fearsome to me than dying young. I’ve read a large section of the horror catalog, but the book that scared me more than anything was a quiet little sci-fi story called “Flowers for Algernon.” The final scene of that story in which Charlie leaves the research facility and brings a book that he can no longer read, still sends a chill down my spine. He wanted the book because he could remember enjoying it.

With the simpleton, Charlie, on my mind, I am tempted to throw away any food in my house with the ingredient hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. The FDA will start requiring disclosure of trans-fats in foods in 2006, but I can’t wait that long.

I look at the margarine that has been the staple in my family’s house since I was a child. We always ate margarine because we thought it was healthier than butter. Come to find out that they both damage my heart and the margarine could damage my brain. I don’t want to end up like Algernon and Charlie.

Now, I just need to remember to use my headset when I’m talking on my cell phone…


One Response to “Trans-Fats Could Make You Stupid”

  1. Starling Fitness » Understanding food additives Says:

    […] @ 5:51 pm — Filed under: Diet Health Aside from the obvious things like partially hydrogenated oil, have you ever wondered what som […]

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