Health Canada has taken a huge step towards protecting the health of Canadian citizens by announcing a ban on the main source of artificial trans fats in Canadian diets.
Partially hydrogenated oils or PHO’s are the main source of industrially produced trans fats that are in all food in the country, which includes a large portion of the food that is produced in restaurants.
The Dangers Of Trans Fats
To begin to understand just how important this step is, and to see why these oils should be banned worldwide, let’s first take a look at how they are made. The oils used to make hydrogenated oils are generally not too bad in their natural state, but through the manufacturing and processing they undergo, they are essentially turned into poison. Palm, kernel, soybean, corn, and coconut oils are heated up from five to one thousand degrees under extreme pressure. Then a catalyst is injected into the oil for a few hours. The catalyst is usually a metal, nickel, platinum, or even sometimes aluminum. This bubbles up into the oil and the molecular structure changes and increases in density, the molecules are rearranged so that the oils are no longer liquid at room temperature and have become either semi-solid or solid oil. This is the process that creates partially or fully hydrogenated oils.
The molecules that are produced are now much closer to cellulose or plastic than to oil. Because the oils are now more dense, consuming too much of these will make your blood become thicker and more dense as well. This causes the heart to have to work much harder in order to pump blood throughout the system.
You can probably imagine the damage this can cause. This gummy substance can easily get stuck in the arteries and over time build up arterial plaque. This causes a lot more than just a build up of the LDL (bad) cholesterol. The consumption of trans fats can lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, infertility, increased risk of heart attack, colon cancer, breast cancer, difficulties in pregnancy and many other serious diseases.
Why Are Trans Fats Used In The First Place?
Hydrogenated oils are used mainly as flavour enhancers and preservatives. As you may already know, hydrogenated oils are one molecule away from being plastic, so when this is added to foods, it preserves them and the enzymatic activity that the foods would normally contain. Plastic does not break down; just imagine what it’s doing to your system. If oils that were non-hydrogenated were added to foods they would spoil much quicker, and that would cost food manufacturers a lot more money, so once again we have a fine example of how most corporations seem to care more about profits and less about people.
A good rule of thumb to consider is that the quicker the food goes bad, the healthier it usually is because it means it is high in enzymes, which assists in the digestive process. Fruits, for example, will essentially start to digest themselves if they are left out. This is one of the reasons why it is important to eat a diet that is abundant in raw fruits and vegetables, as it is much easier for the body to break down these foods and absorb the nutrients. When a diet consists primarily of cooked foods and especially processed foods, the body has to work much harder and use up more of its own resources and digestive enzymes to break down these foods. This puts a lot of strain on the organs.
The Ban Of Trans Fats In Canada
These substances have been under scrutiny for years now, and the food industry has already begun phasing them out. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor welcomed the ban.
In a statement she said, “Eliminating the main source of industrially produced trans fat from the food supply is a major accomplishment and a strong new measure that will help protect the health of Canadians.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation also welcomed this measure.
“While trans fats levels have been decreasing, they are still high in baked goods and foods often consumed by children and other vulnerable populations, Canadians should not have to worry about consuming foods that are not safe to eat,” the foundation said in a statement.
The ban will come into effect on Sept. 15, 2018. This should give the Canadian food industry enough time to figure out a plan for replacements.
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One Small, But Very Important Step
This is progress! We often wonder, why are these toxic chemicals used in the first place? Well, from this thought often comes research, which leads to more knowledge and awareness, which inevitably leads to change. This is why it is important to stand up for the truth, and stand up for what you believe in because this is EXACTLY how we can create real change on the planet.
Way to go Canada! What can we accomplish next?
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