(With files from Cole Kelly, My PG Now)
As of today, trans fats are off the menu in Canada.
According to Laurel Burton, a population health dietitian with Northern Health, the move has been a long time coming.
“The trans fat ban is the extension of work that has been underway for sometime in Canada, with the acknowledgment that there are health concerns related to industrial trans fats foods.”
Burton said that over the last four years moderating programs have “encouraged” many companies to voluntarily reduce or remove trans fats from their products.
“The ban is the next step in removing the industrial produced fats from the food supply completely.”
Most trans fat comes from partially hydrogenated oils, which can be found in products such as vegetable oil shortening, margarine, commercially prepared baked goods, potato and corn chips, crackers, microwave popcorn and deep-fried foods.
Besides it’s health benefits to the population, Burton also said the ban is a plus for Canadian consumers.
“Part of the goal of Health Canada, or more broadly, nutrition, is to really move our food environment to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Truly how that will effect consumers is that they won’t have to think about it in the same way they used to. They won’t have to read labels to see if there are any added trans fats or not, they won’t be there.”
The ban is being rolled out in a two year phase process. Food containing trans fats that are currently on the shelf can be sold for another couple of years, after which they will be banned completely.