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For those who aren’t on Facebook (or for those who didn’t check theirs yesterday), I posted this pic. Thought you’d enjoy it too.

Hope all the dads had a Happy Father’s Day!

On Fat

Okay. For once and for all, I will say it, and you will know it, and we’ll all be healthier for it. Butter is NOT better for you than margarine. Okay? There. Now you know. Spread the word.

This seems to be a major fallacy (among many) that people have about food nowadays. Honestly, it’s not ignorance. It’s not. A lot of people are out there are earnestly trying to figure out what foods are healthy and what are not. It’s not an easy job, because there are so many mixed messages out there to be had. Popular media, scientific media, well-meaning consumer groups – they all have their story to tell.

So here’s what I know. Trans fat is bad for you. People have recently discovered this. I’m sure that this is not news to most of you. Trans fat is what we got when we (the food industry) tried to figure out a way to take saturated fats out of foods back when we found out that saturated fats were unhealthy. Saturated fat and trans fat act much the same way when it comes to their behavior in your circulatory system. Kinda like why we don’t pour bacon fat down the drain. It hardens on the sides and doesn’t go away until the whole drain stops up and we need Roto Rooter to come out and unplug everything. So, trans fat and saturated fat are tied. They are still equal when it comes to calories (otherwise known as ‘how they affect your waistband.’)

How about cholesterol? Saturated fats are often from animal sources, so they usually come hand-in-hand with cholesterol in tow. (Did you know that? Like a professor once told me, “If your food once had a liver – it has cholesterol.” All in all, kinda gross, but easy to understand.) Trans fats usually come from plant sources, so no added cholesterol (or minimal anyway) but trans fats do lower your good cholesterol and raise the bad. So, I don’t know if you’re keeping score, but it’s still about a net tradeoff.

If you’re wondering what the heck you’re supposed to eat (for heaven’s sake), the answer is – you should ideally get your fat intake from heart healthy oils. Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and monosaturated fats (MUFAs). Sunflower, corn, and fish oils (from fish, please – otherwise YUCK) to name a few. There are more but I’m too lazy to google.

Here’s the take home message (as spurred by a recent article in the Wall Street Journal). The food industry is scrambling to take trans fats out of food right now because the “Trans fat” section of the Nutrition Facts label is so taboo. A lot are taking trans fats out and replacing them with saturated fats. So keep your eye on both. If you want to go healthy, cut out saturated and trans fats, and hopefully you’ll skip that trip to Dr. Rooter.

Oh, and if you’re wondering – I’m never prouder to work for a company that did their research from the get-go and removed all trans fats from their products back before it was mandated to label ‘trans’. And, if you check the labels (pick a label, any label), they’ll only have those heart healthy oils in there. 😉

Cute Li’l Buggers

I give Andy a lot of flack for being a computer geek. It’s an obvious joke to make. Not because he actually is a geek, but rather the geek-computer relationship tends to be two very easy points for people to connect. Today, I feel the need to showcase my geekiness, just to be fair. I’m a whole different brand of geek. I like science. Research really gets my juices flowing, and I simply cannot understand how the general population doesn’t find chemistry absolutely fascinating. But, I digress.

Over lunch, I was perusing a website (ThinkGeek.com), and I found these. This is what a battery of microorganisms would look like if they were magnified 1,000,000 times and made out of plush material. I can’t believe someone would take the time to actually execute this, but they were amazingly thorough! Although, I would like to point out that Mad Cow Disease is caused by a protein, not a living microorganism. I suppose I’ll let it slide. If I had to pick one, I believe I’d choose E. coli. Just for the fond memories of grad school. (Research, not illness.)

If you have the time and inclination, you should browse the site. They’ve got a lot of fun stuff in there, including “weapons” for cubicle warfare. I personally like the coffee mugs with the caffeine molecule on them. :)

Hahahahahahhahahaha

This picture is funny for so many reasons. Namely my suspicion that “Linux” is just a picture of a real guy in Tron garb pulled off the Internet somewhere. I love to think that there are actually people out there like this. And unless you’re a computer semi-geek, you’re probably not going to think this is funny. I claim my computer geekness by association.

Don’t You Wish You Were Me?

I had to take a screenshot of what I’ve been staring at for the last 14 hours. If I never see another Excel spreadsheet in my lifetime, it will be too soon.

*** Extra fun note: see the numbers on the left hand side? The ones that number the rows from 91 to 122?
Those run all the way up to the 800s. I love science!