Trans Fats to Blame for Half a Million Premature Deaths Globally Each Year

Every year, around 500,000 people die prematurely from cardiovascular disease thought to be caused by trans fats. Such is the risk associated with man-made trans fats that the World Health Organisation is now calling for all countries to impose a ban on it.

Trans fats are a form of unsaturated fat that you can find naturally in particular meat and dairy products.
While consuming these products with low levels of trans fats is not terribly harmful when consumed in moderation, it’s the man-made version with the addition of hydrogen which is the cause for concern.

These trans fats are a cheaper alternative to “healthier” fats, they clog your arteries, and are found in shortenings, margarine, and similar products.

They also remain prevalent in foods such as pizza, baking, and deep-fried goods.  In 2004, Denmark became the first country to impose a ban on the use of trans fats, before the United States and countries in both North America and Europe followed their lead.

However, Australia, South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa are yet to follow suit, even after several years of research shows trans fats put consumers at risk of coronary disease and heart attacks.

With coronary disease on the rise, World Health Organisation (WHO) is now stepping up their game, joining with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Gates Foundation to launch ‘Replace’ – a guide to replacing trans fats, phasing it out and banning it entirely by 2023.

It is believed that if they can get all countries to ban its use, it could save more than 10 million lives.  According to the CEO and president of Resolve to Save Lives, Dr. Tom Frieden, trans fats is a toxic chemical that’s no longer necessary.

“There’s no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed”

Given that chronic disease is now becoming a leading killer, ahead of infectious diseases, there’s every reason to begin phasing out this toxic and harmful fat that causes a significant amount of harm. Ban trans fats from your diet. Check labels and ensure they are not present in the products you purchase – remember, there are no trans fats in fresh fruit or vegetables so eat more of those!!

How to reduce or eliminate your trans fats intake:

* Opt for fresh fruit & vegetables, yoghurt, and clean low-fat dairy products

* Check ingredient lists for hydrogenated oils / trans fats

* Make healthier food choices by removing cakes, biscuits, takeaway foods and pastry from your diet

* Use olive oil instead of butter or margarine

* Remove skin and fat from meat and chicken

* Avoid processed meat such as salami and sausages