By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Manufacturers of processed foods often use trans fats to cook foods because they have a longer shelf life and are cheaper than other fats.
Industrially produced trans fats are contained in hardened vegetable fats, such as margarine and ghee, and are often present in snack food, baked foods, and fried foods.
World Health Organization (WHO) released the above information in a Press statement titled: “More Than 3 Billion People Protected from Harmful Trans Fats in Their Food”.
The international authority on public health said that healthier alternatives can be used that do not affect taste or cost of food.
Trans fats are harmful to health because they causes coronary heart disease.
WHO recommended that trans fat intake be limited to less than one per cent of total energy intake, which translates to less than 2.2 g/day with a 2,000-calorie diet.
To achieve a world free of industrially produced trans fats by 2023, WHO recommended that countries develop and implement best-practice policies to set mandatory limits for industrially produced trans fats to two per cent of oils and fats in all foods or to ban partially hydrogenated oils (PHO).
The United Nations (UN) organ encouraged countries to invest in monitoring mechanisms, such as in lab capacity to measure and monitor trans fats in foods; andadvocated regional or sub-regional regulations to expand the benefits of trans fat policies.