crisco versus spectrum
Can anyone explain to me why Spectrum brand shortening is considered the "healthier" shortening when compared to the Crisco brand? My co-worker told me Spectrum is better because it is non-hydrogenated while Crisco is, but I don't understand why that would make one better than the other. Both are plenty unhealthy. Spectrum lists only one ingredient, which is a plus.
Ingredients in Crisco shortening:
SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).
Ingredients in Spectrum shortening:
100% Organic Expeller Pressed Palm Oil
Any clarification on the differences would be great and thank you in advance!
Hydrogenated fats and oils have gone through a process of forcing hydrogen through them at high pressure. This changes the chemical makeup of unsaturated (healthier) fats and converts them to trans fatty acids.
The hydrogenating process helps stabilize the fats for a longer shelf life and also solidifies them.
Unfortunately unsaturated fats help lower cholesterol in some cases, while trans fatty acids increase LDL (the bad cholesterol) and decreases HDL (the good cholesterol). Trans fats are worse than even saturated fats because the body has a problem breaking them down and they accumulate in your system which leads to weight gain.
I use shortening (and butter) in my pie dough and find that both Spectrum and Earth Balance taste and perform better than Crisco. Why eat all those preservatives when the stuff without them works and tastes better in the finished product?
This past winter, when I discovered the fabulous CI vodka pie crust, I actually did a taste test comparing Crisco with Earth Balance sticks. The EB crust was flakier and tasted better. Everyone noticed the difference. I'd dump the Crisco for that reason alone.
Previously, Crisco contained a load of trans fats which raise your bad cholesterol amongst other things. Crisco reformulated a few years ago after trans fats were deemed evil by the general public. Both brands aren't healthy or nutritious by any means but I opt for the Spectrum brand for my half butter/half shortening pie dough. While it is debatable how bad for you preservatives, such as TBHQ, are for the body, it is just a personal choice for me to buy the product with the most recognizable ingredients.