It’s name is Olestra…also known by the brand name “Olean”. And though it has been banned in other industrialized countries, here in the U.S. people are still eating it up…
Named one of Time’s 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries.
You’ll find Olestra in diet versions of food products including potato chips, tortilla chips, cheese curls, frozen yogurt, fried foods, crackers, snack foods listed as “savory”, and more.
Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You’ll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it’s banned in Canada and European countries.
If you would like to steer clear of Olestra / Olean it is easy to do. Just check the ingredients labels on processed food items before putting them in your cart. Better yet, skip the highly processed snacks (they are loaded with other unwanted food additives like emulsifiers, synthetic food dyes, preservatives, and more) and make your own homemade snacks from fresh, whole ingredients (organic where possible). There are many good cookbooks (some starting as low as $3.00) as well as numerous free recipes online for making fresh, homemade organic snacks. You can even start a fun tradition with your family, friends and roommates by creating amazing clean, additive-free snack foods from scratch together. Why not try it this weekend?