Health Canada Announces Ban on Trans Fats


Health Canada is taking the final steps towards a ban on the main source of artificial trans fats in Canada. The department says it is banning partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the main source of industrially produced trans fats in all food sold in the country. The substances have been under fire for years and the food industry had been phasing them out on a voluntary basis.

The trans fat ban will come into force in September 2018, giving the food industry enough time to find suitable alternatives. After that date, it will be illegal to sell any food containing PHOs. It will apply to all foods sold in the country, including imported products and foods prepared and served in restaurants and food service establishments.

There are 3 main kinds of fat: trans, saturated and unsaturated. Trans and saturated fats are not good for your health. They can increase your risk of heart disease because of how they affect your cholesterol levels. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. Both trans and saturated fats will raise your level of LDL cholesterol. Trans fats will also lower your level of HDL cholesterol.

In the 1990s, Canadians had one of the highest trans fat intakes in the world. Since the early 2000s, Health Canada reduced the trans fat intakes of Canadians through various approaches, including:

  • requiring trans fat labelling on packaged food
  • setting voluntary targets for trans fat maximum limits in processed foods
  • setting up a 2-year program to measure the food industry’s progress to meet the voluntary targets

Heart & Stroke Foundation predict that the ban will reduce the number of heart attacks in Canada and save lives.

6 responses to “Health Canada Announces Ban on Trans Fats”

  1. Jason says:

    Trans fat = illegal.
    Smoking = legal.

    • Aaron says:

      My thoughts exactly – but how else can the line their pockets? They must keep the areas alive that bring in the most money. Regardless, if that means people are sick and dying or not.

  2. Jane Schoettle says:

    Yes, I sometimes think that if alcohol were invented today, it would completely be illegal also–given how it can alter behaviour and lead to accidents/death/addiction. Not sure what to think about these things–I’m all for free choice and yet, if there is a good substitute for trans fats, well, we should ensure that’s used, because corporations won’t make the best choice if it’s not as profitable either. I think it’s hard to make black and white laws about these things. Even things like opiates have a role to play in pain reduction–but look at the crisis we’re in.It’s hard to know what to think.

  3. David says:

    On the other hand they are legalizing pot which usually involves the intake of smoke and can have serious mental health implications.

  4. bb07 says:

    I agree, around the same time they announce this when they announce legalization of marijuana…we can choose to not eat trans fat, we can’t choose to not inhale smoke, it’s everywhere. I think there are bigger problems then trans fats, not to say I’m not glad they’re doing this, but wish they would eliminate other things first, alcohol as well, I know so many people who are addicted to alcohol, sadly they will never make those things illegal..I don’t think I see it in the future.

  5. Keith M says:

    Saturated fat (mostly animal source) has been labelled BAD, but the reality is that it is not bad as we are told. Coconut oil is saturated fat and it is good for you. We need to do our own research to find out that we have been misinformed.

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