On September 15th, 2017, Minister of Health Canada Petitpas Taylor announced how Health Canada has taken the final step to ban trans fats—or partially hydrogenated oils—from all foods sold in Canada. The ban includes both products produced within Canada, as well as those imported. The ban will also apply to foods prepared and produced in restaurants and food service establishments. According to the CBC, partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) are the main source of trans fats in foods that raise levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol, which can take a toll on our heart health. Researchers and groups like the Heart and Stroke Foundation estimate that this ban will prevent thousands of heart attacks among Canadians each year.
In this interview, we discuss the trans fat ban with Dr. Mary L’Abbé, Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto. Dr. L’Abbé is an expert in public health nutrition, nutrition policy, and food and nutrition regulations. She was co-chair of the Canadian Trans Fat Task Force and led the Trans Fat Monitoring Program. Dr. L’Abbé weighs in on Canada’s trans fan ban announcement, and tells us about the many steps undertaken in Canada to get us to this point.
*The views expressed in Food and Health Today do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Public Health Association/ Nutrition Resource Centre.