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World Health Organization Sets Deadline For Eliminating Trans Fats From Food

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The World Health Organization announced a solution to decrease the amount of trans fat consumption. It believes that trans fats play an important role in cardiovascular disease-related deaths.  ( Paul J. Richards | Getty Images )

The World Health Organization called on countries to put pressure on manufacturers to remove trans fats from food products worldwide by 2023.

Eradicating The Trans Fats

On Monday, May 14, WHO unveiled its new plan to reduce consumption of goods that contain trans fats. The health organization believes that eliminating trans fats such as hydrogenated oils and vegetable fats will save lives. WHO approximates that cardiovascular disease causes over 500,000 deaths yearly and thinks that it is a result of overconsuming trans fats enriched food. Trans fats have also been linked to raising levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and increasing the chance of getting heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Where Are The Trans Fats?

In its report, WHO stated that trans fats are found in some baked goods and processed foods. It believes that manufacturers used trans fats to make their products last longer. Several foods that have trans fats include ice cream, donuts, cake, French fries, and meat sticks.

The REPLACE Action

WHO hopes that participating countries use a six-part process called the REPLACE action package to phase out trans fats. The recommendations of the REPLACE program include promoting the replacement of hydrogenated oils and vegetable fats with healthier alternatives, monitoring trans fats in food supplies, and create awareness regarding the adverse side effects of consuming trans fats.

Banning Trans Fats

Several countries have already put in measures to cut back trans fats from their food supply. The New York Times pointed out that Denmark, Switzerland, Great Britain, and Canada have put restrictions in place. Also, all food products that are sold in the United States are not allowed to have industrially-produced trans fats. While WHO does not have the power to enact this global ban on trans fats, it hopes that future generations would not be addicted to trans fats.

"The world is now embarking on the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, using it as a driver for improved access to healthy food and nutrition. WHO is also using this milestone to work with governments, the food industry, academia and civil society to make food systems healthier for future generations, including by eliminating industrially-produced trans fats," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Food And Diet Corner

Sticking to low-carb diet could help control blood sugar levels of people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, according to a published study from the Journal Pediatrics. Low-carb foods that they could consume include beef, salmon, spinach, lamb, Greek yogurt, and broccoli. The study also showed that participants might have been able to keep their hypoglycemia at lower levels.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition released a finding that a meat-based diet could be an essential food source for babies' growth. Researchers found infants between 5 and 12-months-old, who consume pureed meats in their diet, grew an inch taller without any risk of becoming overweight, compared to those who were fed with dairy foods. The babies also drank formula in this study.

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, analyzed 30 randomized control trials of people who ate pasta as the main source of carbohydrate in their diet and published the results in the British Medical Journal on April 3. After reviewing data from 2,500 participants who consumed an average of 3.3 servings of cooked pasta per week, the subjects did not gain weight or body fat but instead lost some weight.

Tech Times reached out to WHO for a comment on this story.

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