Trans Fat And Increasing Heart Disease: WHO Report
According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans fat, which is increasing their heart disease and death risk.
- Trans fat, or trans-fatty acids, are unsaturated fatty acids that come from either natural or industrial sources.
- Naturally-occurring trans-fat comes from ruminants (cows and sheep).
- Industrially-produced trans-fat is formed in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil converting the liquid into a solid, resulting in “partially hydrogenated” oil (PHO).
- Partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) are solid at room temperature and prolong the shelf life of products. They are primarily used for deep frying and as an ingredient in baked goods.
Initiatives taken to reduce trans-fat intake:
- National Level: Foods Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a “Trans Fat-Free”logo for voluntary labelling to promote TFA-free products.
- Global Level: World Health Organisation launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018 for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.