Health Canada recently announced a food ban on the main source of artificial trans fats in Canadian diets: partially hydrogenated oils. PHO’s are the main source of trans fats in foods all over the country, including foods that are produced in restaurants. Canadian officials are taking a step toward protecting the health of their citizens by announcing the ban.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said the main source of industrially produced trans fat from the food supply is a major accomplishment and a strong new measure that will help protect the health of Canadians.”
Creating Trans Fats
In order to make trans fats, palm, kernel, soybean, corn and coconut oils are heated to 1,000 degrees under extreme pressure. A catalyst is then injected into the oil, in the form of a metal, nickel, platinum or aluminum. The catalyst allows the oil to bubble while the molecular structure changes. The oil increases in density and the molecules are rearranged so that the oils are no longer liquid at room temperature. They become a semi-solid or a solid oil. All of this manufacturing and processing turn oils into partially or fully hydrogenated oils.
The Problem With Trans Fats
After processing, the oils become much more dense. Consuming a large amount of hydrogenated oils can cause the blood to become thicker and more dense. This puts pressure on the heart and forces it to work harder to pump blood through the system. These oils can get stuck in the arteries where they build up over time, causing plaque. The result is a build up of LDL cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease, obesity, increased risk of heart attack, cancer, infertility and more.
How To Avoid Trans Fats
Hydrogenated oils are most commonly used as either preservatives or flavor enhancers. They preserve food to make it last longer, which makes manufacturers more money. If you’re struggling to recognize which foods contain hydrogenated oils, remember that the quicker the food goes bad, the healthier it probably is. Organic fruits and vegetables go bad much quicker than a box of Twinkies or doughnuts.
A diet full of processed foods adds pressure to nearly every part of the body. It is forced to work much harder and use up more of its own resources to break down the harmful ingredients in processed foods, which puts strain on the organs.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation praised the ban of trans fats in Canada, which will go into effect on September 5, 2018. The foundation stated, “While trans fats levels have been decreasing, they are still high in baked goods and foods often consumed by children and other vulnerable populations, Canadians should not have to worry about consuming foods that are not safe to eat.”