The Dangers of Olestra (Olean®)

The-Dangers-of-Olestra There are thousands of potentially dangerous man-made chemicals known as “food additives” in your food and many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer and other diseases. Near the top of that list is Olestra a fat-free additive found in foods such as fat-free potato chips, french fries, corn chips and more recently, popcorn. Olestra is marketed as Olean® or O-lean.

Miracle Food? – Olestra is a chemical combination of sugar and soy bean oils which when combined create a substance called “sucrose polyester”. Olestra is similar in texture to fat but contains no calories or cholesterol, and its molecules are too large to be digested and absorbed by your body.

While this seems a great new way to enjoy fatty foods without gaining weight, the actual result was urgent and often emergency trips to the toilet. Olestra is best known for adverse gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea, cramps, fecal incontinence and “oily” bowel movements.

Fake Fat Does Not Make You Lean – Introduced in the US in 1998, the FDA approved Olestra for use in “light” and “fat free” snack foods like potato chips, corn chips, popcorn, crackers and cookies. Olestra was once proclaimed as “the single most important development in the history of the food industry” and food manufacturers claim that since this “fake fat” is not absorbed, it is the ideal way to enjoy your favorite snack foods without gaining weight.

While Olestra versions of foods can reduce the amount of fat in your diet, the product will tempt those who consume it to eat more empty-calorie snack foods.

In a study conducted at Purdue University, researchers found that rats fed Olean-containing potato chips as part of a high-fat diet consumed more calories overall and gained more weight than rats fed a high fat diet and regular, full-fat potato chips. The result – “Fat substitutes interfere with the body’s ability to regulate what it eats and result in overeating.” The benefits of Olestra do not outweigh the risks.

Dangers of Olestra – Olestra is banned in Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries, because it depletes the body of fat soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K and carotenoids. Carotenoids are natural pigments found in yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables that are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, stroke and blindness.

Olestra is dangerous because it attaches itself to these healthy and valuable nutrients (vitamins and carotenoids) and literally flushes them out of your body. These nutrients protect us from cancers, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Check your food labels and avoid Olean® and the resulting stomach upset and potential health hazards.

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