The World Health Organization released a statement yesterday which details its guidelines for eliminating trans fats from the global food supply by the next five years.
Trans fats are mostly found in hydrogenated vegetable oils, which is in shortening (Crisco), margarine, and lots of baked snack foods.
You can avoid trans fat by looking on the nutrition label of the food you eat. Years ago, the FDA required that every nutrition label include trans fat content, so if it's in the food, it'll be on the label.
Trans fats can also be avoided by replacing margarine and shortening with healthier oils and fats, such as grass-fed butter (Kerrygold is found in most supermarkets now), coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra virgin olive oil.
Decades ago food scientists found that adding hydrogen to some oils will make them solid at room temperature, therefore making them easier to transport and store. But research has revealed that trans fat is terrible for your heart health. They decrease "good cholesterol" and increase the "bad cholesterol," which will put your cardiovascular system in danger of blockage and possible heart disease.
If the experts at the WHO want to get rid of trans fats in our food by 2023, you may want to remove trans fats from your diet today!
From the release: "WHO recommends that the total trans fat intake be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake, which translates to less than 2.2 g/day with a 2,000-calorie diet. Trans fats increases levels of LDL-cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk, and decreases levels of HDL-cholesterol, which carry away cholesterol from arteries and transport it to the liver, that secretes it into the bile. Diets high in trans fat increase heart disease risk by 21% and deaths by 28%. Replacing trans fats with unsaturated fatty acids decreases the risk of heart disease, in part, by ameliorating the negative effects of trans fats on blood lipids. In addition, there are indications that trans fat may increase inflammation and endothelial dysfunction."