Trans fats are about to be a thing of the past in the U.S. and The World Health Organization wants to ban them globally. The U.S. law goes into full effect on June 18, 2018 and food can no longer be made with artificial trans fat after that.
The ingredient is used in deep frying — it’s also found in snack foods, frosting, microwave popcorn, and frozen pizza. It’s made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil to make it more solid. It also helps food last longer. The World Health Organization estimates 500,000 people die from heart disease every year from eating too much trans fat. However, it can easily be replaced with healthier oils like olive oil, canola oil, and safflower oil.
Trans fat became popular in the ‘50s because some experts thought it was healthier than cooking with butter or lard. But it’s no longer believed to be a healthier alternative. It’s still being used a lot in low and middle-income countries but the World Health Organization is pushing for a global ban of trans fats in the next five years. It’s made a step-by-step guide to help countries start policy changes. Hopefully soon the hazardous fats will be phased out of our diets completely.