Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Use of trans fats in food products now banned
		 	 Sheryl Ubelacker  	Kamloops This Week

"The trans fat ban is the extension of work that has been underway for sometime in Canada, with the acknowledgment that there are health concerns related to industrial trans fats foods".

The ban takes aim at partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, which are the main source of industrially produced trans fats in all foods sold in Canada.

For years, the oils were used in the production of baked goods because they extended a product's shelf life. Truly how that will effect consumers is that they won't have to think about it in the same way they used to. But research has repeatedly shown the fats can raise levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and lower levels of good cholesterol.

The head of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, an organization that has long pushed for the removal of trans fats, said he is thrilled to finally see the ban implemented.

It can be hard to keep all the different kinds of fats and their effects on the body straight, but trans fat is categorically one of the worst.

As well, any product manufactured with trans fats before today, Monday, September 17, will be able to remain on store shelves. "So it's very significant".

According to Health Canada, "The consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), one of the leading causes of death in Canada".

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The Trans Fat Task Force first recommended to the federal government in 2005 that the ingredient should be reduced in foods eaten by Canadians.

Cardiac anaesthesiologist Dr. Louise Sun, from the Heart Institute at the University of Ottawa, said the ban follows the notion that "the best medicine is prevention".

"Part of the goal of Health Canada, or more broadly, nutrition, is to really move our food environment to make the healthy choice the easy choice".

The ban was announced a year ago to give the industry time to adapt.

Beyond banning trans fats, PHOs have been added to Canada's List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Food.

Canada isn't the first country to do this. This includes Canadian and imported foods, as well as those prepared in all food service establishments.

"But some products made before today, they could be there up to two years later.in two years it'll be completely eliminated", Arango said.

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