The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared war against trans fat by releasing a set of guidelines to eventually eliminate this unhealthy ingredient by 2023.
The effort is meant to be a low-cost way for developing countries to reduce the high number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases, which has been linked to trans fat.
Learn more about this unhealthy fat and how you can avoid it.
What is trans fat?
It’s an unsaturated fat that occurs at very low levels in some meat and dairy.
However, it’s artificial trans fat, also known as trans fatty acids, that is a cause for concern.
It’s formed through an industrial process called hydrogenation, which is when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil so it becomes solid at room temperature.
It became a popular ingredient when it was first developed as it was less likely to spoil, ensuring that foods with trans fat in them have a longer shelf life.
Why is it unhealthy?
There’s evidence that trans fat, or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, increases the amount of bad cholesterol while decreasing the amount of good cholesterol.
A diet high in trans fat increases the risk of heart diseases.
Where is it found?
It can be found in a lot of packaged foods and popular products, such as margarine, coffee creamer, frostings and frozen pizzas.