Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Canada's ban on the main source of artificial trans fats is now in effect.

Health Canada did warn Canadians over a year ago that a ban on the food additive was coming- people were still shocked when the hammer finally came down yesterday.

While the ingredient's goal in common foods is to extend their shelf life rather than influence the taste or texture of any of your treats, the loss of that ingredient is definitely going to change the way your favourite fried foods taste forever.

Naturally, Canadians were not excited about losing their favourite snacks and meals over a country-wide band they had no control over.

The ban specifically prohibits adding partially hydrogenated oils, or PHO's, to packaged foods and foods sold in restaurants.

As of today, trans fats are off the menu in Canada.

"As Minister of Health, I am very concerned with the rise in heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in Canada", said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada's minister of health. Heart and Stroke have been working with Health Canada since the latter formed the trans-fats task force in 2006.

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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 federal government first unveiled the trans fat ban past year, but gave the food industry until now to adapt to the changes.

Instead, it introduced mandatory trans fat labelling, set voluntary targets for processed foods, and set up a monitoring program to measure industry's progress toward meeting the voluntary targets.

"The ban is the next step in removing the industrial produced fats from the food supply completely".

Canada isn't the first country to do this.

Partially hydrogenated oils, a type of unsaturated fatty acid, are the result of the chemical process which turns liquid vegetable oil into solid fats.

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