A year after the federal government announced that Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) – which are the main source of trans fats in food- would be added to the “List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances,” the ban has now come into effect.
This means it is now illegal for food manufacturers to add artificial trans fats to industrially produced foods as well as to food prepared at restaurants.
Tatiana Pyper, a local Registered Dietitian, says the artery-clogging fat, commonly found in baked goods and fried foods, is one of the leading causes of heart disease in Canada.
“[Trans fats] increase our bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease our good cholesterol (HDL). When that happens, it encourages the production of fatty deposits that clog your vessels and can lead to heart attacks,” she adds.
Pyper notes that she’s been waiting for this ban for over a decade. “It’s about time!…I have advocated along many scientists, doctors, and fellow dietitians for formal regulations to protect the health of Canadians. I really do believe that this is a step in the right direction to protect the lives of Canadians and reduce the number of heart attacks in Canada and overall save many lives.”
Although the ban is currently in effect, Pyper suggests that consumers should still pay attention to what they pick off the shelves at the grocery store as any products manufactured before this week may still contain trans fat.