Say Goodbye to Trans Fats
On September 15, 2017, Health Canada announced a ban on partially hydrogenated oils in all food sold in Canada. This includes all imported foods, as well as food prepared in restaurants and food service establishments. Partially hydrogenated oils are the main source of industrially produced trans fats in our food supply.
What are trans fats?
Trans fats are formed when a liquid fat (vegetable oil) is changed into a solid fat – this process is called hydrogenation. Trans fats are added to many processed foods to improve the taste and texture, and to increase the shelf-life. Trans fats are commonly found in store-bought baked goods and deep-fried foods.
Trans fats are also naturally found in some animal products, including meats, milk and butter. However, they occur in very small amounts, and these trans fats are different from manufactured trans fats and do not pose the same health risks.
What are the health risks of eating manufactured trans fats?
Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) blood cholesterol and lower your good (HDL) blood cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease – one of the leading causes of death in Canada.
This ban is a part of Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, which aims to make the healthy food choice the easy choice. It is a very important step that will help reduce the risk of heart disease amongst Canadians.
The ban will come into effect on September 15, 2018, giving the food industry time to find suitable alternatives so that partially hydrogenated oils can be eliminated from food products.
Even when the ban is in place, it is still important to make healthy food – and healthy fat – choices. Use the following tips to choose healthy fats.
- Choose oils over solid fats.
- Keep portions small – healthy fats are still very high in calories, and we only need a small amount.
- Buy lean cuts of meat (round, loin), trim fat from meat, and remove skin from chicken.
- Eat fatty fish at least twice a week.
- Have a small portion of nuts and/or seeds most days. Have a small handful for a snack, add a sprinkle to salads, or add them to baked goods.
- Choose skim, 1% or 2% milk and yogurts. Look for lower fat cheeses – about 20% M.F.
- Limit added fats such as butter, margarine, gravies, sauces, creams and creamy salad dressings.
- Limit your intake of processed meats, fried and deep-fried foods, breaded and battered foods, pastries, donuts and other store bought baked goods.