A new ban takes place today in Canada and it will mean that Health Canada will officially add partially hydrogenated oils — the main source of trans fats in foods to its “List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances.”


The ban specifically prohibits adding partially hydrogenated oils (PHO’s), to packaged foods and foods sold in restaurants (think french fries). PHO’s are also found in goodies including the production of pastries, other baked goods and some packaged goods in order to extend shelf life.

They are shown to raise levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol in the blood, while lowering levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, those artificial trans fats result in clogging of the blood vessels. This doesn’t seem to be true for the natural occurring trans fat found in meat and dairy products.


The hope is that this move will make a big difference in the health of Canadians.  The food industry had been voluntarily phasing out partially hydrogenated oils for years, but the federal government never imposed a ban until now. Instead, it introduced mandatory trans fat labeling, set voluntary targets for processed foods, and set up a monitoring program to measure industry’s progress toward meeting the voluntary targets.

The ban applies to all packaged foods produced in Canada, as well as imported products, and foods served in restaurants.

Those trans fats that occur naturally in some animal products are not part of the ban.

For more information from Health Canada on the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances:



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