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Consumers Encouraged to Replace Trans Fats with Animal Fats

by 5m Editor
23 November 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1651. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1651

An Ottawa based nutrition consultant is encouraging consumers to replace foods which contain unhealthy trans fats with foods made using naturally occurring animal fats.

The US Food and Drug Administration recommends minimizing the intake of trans fats while Canada is considering the prospects of following Denmark's lead in banning outright foods that contain the compounds.

Hydrogenated vegetable oils, like those used in the manufacture of vegetable oil shortenings and margarines, are the main source of tans fats.

Nutrition Researcher Helen Bishop-MacDonald says the human body was never designed to deal with these compounds.

"Trans fatty acids, it's well known now that when you hydrogenate vegetable oil to produce a fat that tries to resemble either butter or lard you produce these things called trans fatty acids.

The problem with trans fatty acids is that they not only raise the bad cholesterol, the LDL, they also lower the good cholesterol, the HDL.

There have been numerous scientific studies showing that they are harmful to human health and Canadians consume an awful lot of trans fatty acids.

They're in things like donuts, potato chips, almost any packaged flour product, biscuits, crackers.

If you look on the label, you'll see the terms hydrogenated vegetable oil or vegetable oil shortening and they've essentially replaced the natural fats that had been used...butter and lard."

Bishop-MacDonald points out animal fats contain certain saturated fatty acids that actually help raise the good HDL cholesterol levels and, in the case of butter, it also contains conjugated linoleic acid which is a known anti-carcinogen.

She says there are benefits, which come as a surprise to many, to these naturally occurring animal fats.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor