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#8: Olestra/Olean


Olestra, aka Olean, created by Procter & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute used in fat-free snacks like chips and French fries. Three years ago, Time Magazine3 named it one of the worst 50 inventions ever, but that hasn’t stopped food companies from using it to satisfy people’s mistaken belief that a fat-free snack is a healthier snack. According to the featured article:

“Not only did a 2011 study from Purdue University conclude rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight, there have been several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat including diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. And because it interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, the FDA requires these vitamins be added to any product made with Olean or olestra.”

Where it’s banned: The UK and Canada


Answer Question

Asked by fiatpax at 2:17 PM on Sep. 22, 2013 in Health

Level 46 (221,572 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I guess it's a good thing I gave up my biggest weakness, Lays potato chips

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 2:20 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • I was always suspicious of that crap and never would touch it.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:28 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • Yeah, that stuff was always considered an issue even when it was first introduced. Blech.

    Answer by May-20 at 4:49 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • Nothing says appetizing like the trots! lol :p

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:55 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • there have been several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat including diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels

    Yeah, unfortunately that seems to happen to me when eat that stuff. :/ TMI, I know.

    Answer by mommy_jules at 6:26 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • my mom was really pissed when they first pulled olestra b/c she could eat chips and they still tasted good. at least now they have to put a label on the bag/box if its got olestra...that stuff is awful tho. not hard to get around it...just dont get the fat free stuff.

    Answer by okmanders at 8:40 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • Two words:


    Does anything else really need to be said?

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 12:09 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

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