Thu, 08 Jun 2023

Trans Fats are Bad! WHO Calls for a Global Ban

Merxwire
17 May 2023, 18:44 GMT+10


Trans fat is harmful to health. According to the latest report of the World Health Organization (WHO), 5 billion people worldwide are threatened by trans fat, increasing the risk of heart disease or death.


Trans fats are commonly found in cookie snacks, deep-fried foods, or baked goods. (Photo via unsplash.com)

New York, NY (Merxwire) - According to statistics, trans fats, commonly found in baked goods and cooking oils, are responsible for 500,000 premature deaths yearly. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been committed to eliminating trans-fat processed foods since 2018. Five years have passed, and 5 billion people worldwide are still at risk of consuming too much trans fat.

Trans fats are unsaturated fats that are formed through a process called hydrogenation. During hydrogenation, hydrogen gas is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid or semi-solid at room temperature, making the fats more stable and their shelf life longer. Although trans fats occur naturally in meat and dairy products, they appear meagerly. Trans fats formed through the partial hydrogenation of foods significantly cause health problems.

Which foods are easy to see trans fat? As long as words such as hydrogenated oil, ghee, artificial vegetable oil, or margarine are on the label, trans fat is added. Foods such as donuts, cakes, cookies, and fried foods that remain soft and moist for months often contain trans fats.

Trans fats have no health benefits. Eating trans fats will increase the concentration of "low-density lipoprotein cholesterol" in the blood while reducing "high-density lipoprotein cholesterol," increasing lousy cholesterol and decreasing good cholesterol. Long-term consumption will lead to the risk of arteriosclerosis.

Popcorn is originally a healthy food, but most seasoned commercial microwave popcorn contains too much trans fat, so be careful when eating it. (Photo via unsplash.com)

WHO first called for the global elimination of industrially produced trans fats in 2018, recommending that the intake of trans fats be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake, in other words, a maximum of 2,000 calories per day The amount of trans fat should be less than 2.2 grams.

Many countries have implemented regulations to limit or ban the use of trans fat in food. To date, 43 countries have implemented best practice policies to address trans fat in food, protecting approximately 2.8 billion people worldwide. Although the population coverage of previous best-practice policies has increased nearly six times, 5 billion people worldwide are at risk of trans fats damaging their health. The global goal of eliminating trans fats is still out of reach.

Faced with the threat of trans fats, consumers should not only choose healthier fats but also try to choose authentic foods, avoid refined starches and overcooked foods, and take in enough plant fibers. When purchasing foods, check whether food labels contain additives such as trans fat. After all, trans fat is not only not helpful to health but also has adverse effects. It is better to eat less.

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