I ate a box of Triscuits last week. Nothing out of the ordinary – just a small snack to satisfy my hunger. And you know, it’s even a part of the “bread, cereals, and whole grain” group on the food pyramid. It’s hard to go wrong with a snack like that, right?
Triscuits, along with many other snack foods, are created with partially hydrogenated oils. It’s a wonderful creation – it increases the product shelf life of many foods and makes snack food a little tastier. This dream creation is even the main reason why most people in the 18-24 age bracket already suffer from one clogged artery.
You would think something that causes clogged arteries would be easy to find on the nutrition facts product label. However, the type of fats related to partially hydrogenated oils, called trans-fats, are nowhere to be found. You not only get to clog your arteries, but you get to do it with a substance you formerly didn’t even know to exist.
Ignorance is a glorious thing.
However, this ignorance is also the reason why we consume roughly 5.8 grams of trans-fats per day, the reason why men and women in their mid-forties die of heart failure, and the reason why there is one trans-fat-related death every 15 minutes. You’d think the Food and Drug Administration would at least be considerate enough to enable us to see what we put into our bodies everyday. But they call us the “lost generation” – we are apparently so set in our habits of consuming artery-clogging food that we refuse to change our ways. Funny how the FDA assumes that we revel in that blissful ignorance it has created for us.
When I ate that box of Triscuits, I consumed roughly 2.5 grams of trans-fats in just that one box. I only know this because I accidentally found the information on the Internet. It wasn’t on the box, in the store or on the coupon I used. No, that vital piece of information was on some website I luckily stumbled upon. Skippy peanut butter, a staple of childhood nutrition, also contains hydrogenated oil. Hopefully, the oil that helps keep Skippy smooth won’t make my heart skip a few too many beats in the future.
Instead of doing what’s best for the na