Advertisement

What is hydrogenated fat?

Margaret Floyd
Nutrition & Dietetics
Hydrogenated fats are made from vegetable oils that are very unstable in their natural form, meaning they become rancid really easily. This poses transportation, storage, and shelf-life problems. To avoid these problems, food manufacturers forcibly alter the fat at the molecular level, adding hydrogen atoms to stabilize the oil. In other words, they hydrogenate the oil, solidifying an oil that was previously liquid at room temperature. Margarine is the classic example of a hydrogenated fat. These oils don't exist in nature, and they are unrecognizable and quite damaging to the body.
Eat Naked: Unprocessed, Unpolluted, and Undressed Eating for a Healthier, Sexier You

More About this Book

Eat Naked: Unprocessed, Unpolluted, and Undressed Eating for a Healthier, Sexier You

Eat Naked with Margaret Floyd for a Sexier You Are you fed up with counting calories? Confused by all the diet hype? Want to eat delicious, real food and look and feel great? Leading...
Enas Shakkour
Nutrition & Dietetics

Hydrogenated fat is fat that has had hydrogen infused into it. Hydrogenated fats start out as unsaturated fats, which are fats that are actually good for you. These unsaturated fats are not as solid as saturated fats. Saturated fats (bad fats) have more hydrogen than unsaturated fats. The process of hydrogenation makes a once healthy fat into a non-healthy fat. The hydrogenated fat is now more solid and more harmful. Check your labels and stay away from products that have "hydrogenated fats" and "partially hydrogenated fat" listed in the ingredients.

Hydrogenated fat/hydrolyzed fat/hardened fat are all different names for the same fat. This fat begins as an unsaturated fat and is then turned into a saturated fat. Conversion of unsaturated fat into saturated fat is quite common because saturated fat lasts longer.

Continue Learning about Fats

Good and Bad Fats: The Ultimate Guide
Good and Bad Fats: The Ultimate Guide
Remember when any fat was bad fat? When the only difference between a croissant and a Krispy Kreme was snob appeal? Now that (happily) science has fou...
Read More
How do fibrates interact with other medications?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
If you are taking a QTc interval prolonging medication, fibrates can lead to serious side effects an...
More Answers
The Best (and Worst) Fats for Your Body
The Best (and Worst) Fats for Your BodyThe Best (and Worst) Fats for Your BodyThe Best (and Worst) Fats for Your BodyThe Best (and Worst) Fats for Your Body
Protect your heart health—and much more—by choosing the right fatty foods.
Start Slideshow
Why Should My Child Eat Healthy Fats?
Why Should My Child Eat Healthy Fats?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.