Pune: World Health Organization (WHO) released a step-by-step guideline, named ‘REPLACE’, for the elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply on Monday.
According to WHO, diets high in trans fat increase heart disease risk by 21 per cent and deaths by 28 per cent. Ghee and repeatedly used oil, which are commonly utilised in Indian food, are a source of unsaturated 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.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that WHO calls on governments to use the ‘REPLACE’ action package to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the food supply.
“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,” said Ghebreyesus.
Citing an example of New York city, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases Michael Bloomberg said that banning trans fats in New York City helped reduce the number of heart attacks without changing the taste or cost of food, and eliminating their use around the world can save millions of lives.
“A comprehensive approach to tobacco control allowed us to make more progress globally over the last decade than almost anyone thought possible - now, a similar approach to trans fat can help us make that kind of progress against cardiovascular disease, another of the world’s leading causes of preventable death,” said Bloomberg.
Speaking of a good alternative healthier way of living, Dr Aradhana Patkar, a city-based nutritionist said that the fibre foods can help keep the diet healthy.
“Though the trans fat is bad, it is also necessary in a limited amount. Hence, the focus should be on a healthy balanced diet. The diet should be taken according to the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a person. Junk food should be completely avoided,” noted Patkar.
What is ‘REPLACE’?
REPLACE provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete and sustained elimination of industrially-produced trans fats from the food supply
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 on the negative health impact of trans fats among policymakers, producers, suppliers and the public.
Enforce compliance with policies and regulations.
Negative effects of trans fat
WHO officials said that replacing trans fats with unsaturated fatty acids decreases the risk of heart disease, in part, by rectifying the negative effects of trans fats on blood lipids.