The WHO trans fats strategy has launched with recommendations for countries around the world. The World Health organization is urging nations to start phasing our artificial forms of trans fat. The goal is to put a stop to the use of any artificial versions of the substance around the world by 2023.
While there are currently various forms of good, bad, and moderately good dietary fats, this one is different. The WHO trans fats definition places them squarely into the “bad” category. While they may occur naturally in some dairy and meat, they’re typically found in small amounts.
That said, they can also be created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil in order to solidify it. This process also helps to improve the product’s shelf life. However, the WHO trans fats plan shows that there are no health benefits to this artificial substance. That is, there aren’t any that would justify all the health risks it simultaneously produces. Among the top risks includes lowering good cholesterol (HDL) levels while raising bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
According to the WHO trans fats data, this substance is a contributor to approximately 500,000 cardiovascular disease related deaths every year. Therefore, the World Health organization came up with guidance to help countries phase out the bad fat.
The WHO trans fats plan instructs countries to REPLACE the artificial substance. REPLACE stands for REview dietary sources, Promote the use of healthier fats, Legislate, Assess changes, Create awareness, and Enforce. The organization is also encouraging countries to put this strategy in place with a goal of ending artificial trans fat use by 2023.
The WHO trans fats strategy has the potential for significant global impact. However, it’s promising to know that the U.S. is already ahead of the game. In 2013, trans fats were placed into the spotlight in the United States.
The reason is that this was the year in which the FDA ruled that partially hydrogenated oil (the top source of food trans fats) was no longer considered to be GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). Two years later, it announced the start of a plan to eliminate trans fats from packaged foods by 2018.
Since that time, food manufacturers have been steadily working their way away from trans fats. As a result, while they are far from gone in the United States, they are being used notably less.