It’s that time of year again: those sweet, industrious Girl Scouts in their adorable green uniforms with their earnest and wholesome faces entreating you to buy their toxic cookies. If you just rolled your eyes, fine, but when was the last time you baked cookies for your kids and packed them full of hydrogenated coconut and soybean oils, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, and high fructose corn syrup?
Okay, so they are cookies and cookies aren’t kale: they are bound to contain sugar, butter, and at least some portion of refined flour. But real sugar, butter and flour are fine in moderation. And unlike the fats and sweeteners used in the GS treats, they don’t lead to: the raising of bad cholesterol or LDL (which promotes the buildup of plaque in your arteries), the damaging of cell wall blood vessels (which leads to various forms of inflammation–a primary culprit for many common diseases), the lowering of good cholesterol or HDL (which actually helps transport excess cholesterol out of your body), and the increase of triglycerides (a kind of blood fat that hardens arteries). God knows what else.
These are not the warnings of some quack, rather, they appear on the Mayo Clinic’s website. Mayo also points out that with current labeling laws, a food can be advertised as having “zero trans fat” and yet contain 0.5 grams per serving. Eat a couple of servings, and add that to other foods with hidden trans fats that you may consume over the course of a day, and you’re eating way too much of it. I didn’t realize that a large order of fries can contain over 5 grams! And remember, kids have little bodies, so for them these grams add up to trouble even more quickly.
If you feel like being proactive, gently explain to that adorable little Scout why she’s peddling complete crap, and give her a nice contribution to her worthy cause, encouraging her to speak to her leaders about not funding their programs with foods that only multiply the health woes already overwhelming our nation.