In News: Five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans fat, increasing their heart disease and death risk, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The global health body, in 2018, had advocated some best-practice policies for the global eradication of industrially generated trans fat by 2023.
- Trans fats, also called partially hydrogenated oils, are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid.
- The sources of trans fat can be (1) Natural or (2) Artificial.
- Natural trans fats are also called ruminant trans fats, as they are present in small quantities in meat and dairy products obtained form ruminant animals such as cows, sheep and cattle.
- Natural/ruminant trans fat are not generally considered harmful.
- Industrially produced trans fat is usually found in packaged foods, baked items, cooking oils and spreads.
- They are considered even less healthy than saturated fats
- They are generally found in
- Bakery products: Biscuit, fan, rusk, cake etc.
- Fried foods: Bhatura, poori, pakora, bhujiya, fried savoury mixtures (namkeens) etc
- Re-heated oils: Small amounts of trans fats are also formed when the same cooking oil is used for repeated frying; not only at commercial outlets but even at household levels.
- Trans fat has no known benefit but is associated with huge health risks that can burden health systems
- Trans fat intake is accountable for up to 500,000 early deaths from coronary heart disease annually.
- Consumption of trans fats raises the level of bad LDL-cholesterol, an accepted biomarker of cardiovascular diseases. It has been seen that diets high in trans fat can increase the risk of heart disease by 21 per cent and deaths by 28 per cent.
- The following are the two best-practice policy options
- mandatory national limit of two grams of industrially produced trans fat per 100 grams of total fat in all foods
- mandatory national ban on the production or use of partially hydrogenated oils (a major source of trans fat) as an ingredient in all foods
- Countdown to 2023 is a WHO report on global trans fat elimination
- FSSAI has employed strategies to achieve its goal of “Freedom from Trans Fat @75.”
- Avoid using “Vanaspati” ghee for any kind of cooking.
- When deep frying the foods (Poori/pakora etc.), do not heat the oil for a very long time. Prefer to not leave the food in the oil for a very long time.
- Do not reheat the oil or re-use the same oil for frying. The oil which has once been used for frying can be used for the preparation of vegetables, curries, dals etc.
- Use smaller vessel (kadhai, etc.) at home for deep frying. This will allow you to do frying using a lesser amount of oil/fat.
- Limit the consumption of baked/processed foods like biscuit/fan, cake, chips, fried savoury mixtures (namkeens, etc.).
Previous Year Question
Q1) Regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended in the diet since they are a good source of antioxidants .How do antioxidants help a person maintain health and promote longevity? (2011)
- They activate the enzymes necessary for vitamin synthesis in the body and help prevent vitamin deficiency.
- They prevent excessive oxidation of Carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body and avoid unnecessary wastage of energy.
- They neutralize the free radicals produced in the body during metabolism.
- They activate certain genes in the cells of the body and help delay the ageing process