March 9, 2009

Canadian province to restrict trans fat

The western Canadian province of British Columbia has set limits on the amount of trans fats allowed in foods served in restaurants.

Provincial Minister of Healthy Living and Sports Mary Polak said any provincially licensed food service will be required to comply with the new regulation by Sept. 30, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The move is the first of its kind by any regional government in Canada, Polak said.

The regulation limits the amount of trans fat content in oils and margarines to 2 percent of the total fat content, and 5 percent for all other foods.

So if you were to switch, instead, to a (non-hydrogenated) sunflower oil, a canola oil, or even a soybean oil, then you can be making that change and still complying with the guidelines, Polak said.

Trans fats have been scientifically shown to raise the levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the body, and have been linked to clogged arteries and heart disease.