"WHO calls on governments to use the REPLACE action package to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the food supply,"said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as stated in the press release by WHO. "Implementing the six strategic actions in the REPLACE package will help achieve the elimination of Trans fat, and represent a major victory in the global fight against cardiovascular disease."
REPLACE provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially-produced trans-fats from the food supply. This is what REPLACE means
- REview dietary sources of industrially produced trans-fats and the landscape for required policy change.
- Promote the replacement of industrially produced trans-fats with healthier fats and oils.
- Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially produced trans-fats.
- Assess and monitor trans-fats content in the food supply and changes in trans-fat consumption in the population.
- Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans-fats among policy makers, producers, suppliers and the public.
- Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.
According to the WHO, several high-income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans-fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged foods. Some governments have implemented nationwide bans of partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrially produced trans-fats. Action is required in low and middle income countries, where controls of use of industrially produced trans-fats are often weaker, to ensure that the benefits are felt equally around the world.
What Is Trans-Fat?
According to the American Heart Association, there are two types of trans-fats found in foods- Naturally occurring and artificial trans-fats. Naturally occurring trans-fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals may contain small quantities of these fats. Artificial trans-fats on the other hand are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
The primary dietary source of trans-fats in processed foods is partially hydrogenated oils. Trans-fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. They help give foods a desirable taste and texture.
What Every Day Foods Have Trans-Fats?
Trans-fats increase the risk of developing many chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity and type-2 diabetes. Some of the most basic and most consumed foods that we generally eat almost on a daily basis may include- cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits, margarine, cream-filled candies, fried fast foods, doughnuts, et al.
Indian Foods That Are Loaded With Trans-Fats
According to a survey conducted by Diabetes Foundation of India, most women reuse oil for frying. In fact, hawkers selling chhole bhature, puri, samosa and aloo tikki are known to resort to the same practice. Most hydrogenated vegetable oils should ideally be not used to re-fry foods. Most households use oil that goes through hydrogenation that involves adding hydrogen to liquid oil to make it more solid. The menace of trans-fats is huge in India as it is cheap and easy to use.
We all need to be wary of what we eat or drink nowadays considering it may hamper your health in the longer run.