WHO Cracking Down on Trans Fats

Trans fats have been one of the greater enemies of the people for quite some time now. Since they first entered the dietary conversation about 30 years ago, trans fats have been one of the top culprits that weight loss doctors, nutrition experts and dieters alike have pointed their fingers at. The problem is that avoiding trans fats is difficult—and it’s not simply a willpower issue on the dieters part.

Trans fats are almost literally everywhere. They are in the processed foods that we buy at the store, in the fast foods that we get at the drive-thru, and they are hidden so well in plain sight that avoiding them becomes quite complicated.

When you make the decision to give up meat, for example, you make a conscious choice to give up a food that you know you are consuming. Cutting back on carbs by eliminating things like breads and muffins from your diet works in a similar fashion—though there are certainly carbs in many items that you wouldn’t immediately think of. But trans fats are not something that you try to eat. They are just there, hidden on the nutrition label for foods that you may have genuinely thought was healthy—or at least healthier than other options would be.

The duplicity of trans fats is one of the reasons why the World Health Organization (WHO) has started cracking down on food manufacturers to take matters into their own hands and to exert some level of control over the amount of trans fats that are being put into foods. If the trans fats are eliminated on the food manufacturing end, then it will become much easier to reduce consumption of trans fats across the population.

The WHO has introduced a step-by-step plan to eliminate trans fats from the global food supply by 2023. The initiative is called REPLACE, and it has global eradication of trans fats as its primary goal. The idea is to guide countries individually to take legislative steps to eliminate trans fats from their food supply. This will require no small degree of regulation over the global food industry, but the WHO is adamant that this is the right step to take for global health.

While it is true that having some fat in your diet is healthy, those fats should never be trans fats. Mono and polyunsaturated fats can be found naturally in foods like dairy, nuts and avocado, and those should be the sources where you are getting much-needed nutrients for your body.

You don’t need to wait for the WHO to step in to cut back on trans fats. Start reading food labels even before you undergo weight loss surgery, and look for healthier alternatives that are trans-fat-free.