Should trans fats be banned in India?

Should trans fats be banned in India?

Trans fats are harmful for your health and can cause several health issues, as we have seen in the previous posts – Man made deadly trans fats What are the sources of harmful trans fats?

The AHA and WHO recommends a maximum of no more than 2 grams of trans fat per day (≤1%of total energy). There is no safe level of trans fat and that people should eat as little as possible.

In 2006, USFDA passed a regulation which made it mandatory for all food items and supplements to label the amount of “Trans fats” it contained.

In 2003, Denmark was the first and only country to regulate trans fat on a national basis. In 2007, the movement for banning Trans fats gained momentum. New York and California placed a ban on partially hydrogenated frying oils. Following the ban there were several corrective measures taken by the fast food chains:

  • McDonald’s French fries in New York City became virtually trans-free
  • Dunkin’ Donuts announced that all menu offerings in its restaurants will have zero grams of artery clogging trans fat
  • Subway announced that it has “eliminated all artificial trans fats from its core menu.
  • Taco Bell converted all of its US restaurants to a new zero grams trans fat canola oil for frying from a partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
  • Burger King and Wendy’s were still serving New Yorkers French fries with more trans fat than is safe to consume in an entire day

In India, there is very little monitoring and control over sale of cooked unpackaged foods. Most of the times, the products banned elsewhere easily find a market in India because we do not bother to read labels and make wise choices. We only rely on taste as a factor to determine acceptability of foods.

We need to prioritize health over taste and make sure that detrimental foods from the Western culture do not jeopardize our nutritional status and health system. 


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