As Canada bans artificial trans-fats, experts demand the same from India

Image source: Google
Image source: Google

Recently, Canada banned artificially produced trans-fats. Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are the main source of industry-produced trans -fats which are used to create a certain consistency in food or to increase shelf life. They are often found in commercially baked goods.

Industrially-produced trans-fats are contained in hardened vegetable fats, such as margarine and ghee, and are often present in snack food, baked foods, and fried foods. Manufacturers often use them as they have a longer shelf life than other fats. But healthier alternatives can be used, that would not affect taste or cost of food.

Several high-income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans-fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food.

Some governments have implemented nationwide bans on partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrially-produced trans-fats.

Dr Sanjay Pathare, from Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “While the mechanisms through which trans fatty acids contribute to coronary artery disease are fairly well understood, the mechanism for their effects on diabetes is still under investigation. A diet high in trans-fats can contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, and higher risk for heart disease. Trans-fat has also been implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes.”

Neeta Somkunwar, dietician at Aundh Civil Hospital, Pune, said, “High intake of trans fatty acids can lead to many health problems throughout one’s life. They are abundant in fast food restaurants. They are consumed in greater quantities by people who lack access to a diet consisting of fewer hydrogenated fats, or who often consume fast food.”