Health And Family

What is trans fat? Why is DOH, FDA banning artificial trans fat?

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
What is trans fat? Why is DOH, FDA banning artificial trans fat?
Denmark became the first country in the world to limit the amount of toxic trans-fatty acids in foods such as frozen, canned, and baked goods in 2003. The policy saved two lives a day—or 700 lives each year—since it was implemented in 2004.
Wikimedia Commons

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminded food companies to reformulate and remove industrially-produced trans fatty acids (iTFA) from their products by June 18, 2023.

According to Officer In Charge Undersecretary Beverly Ho of the DOH’s Public Health Services Team, trans fat can lead to heart diseases. 

But what is trans fat? 

According to Health Line, there are two kinds of trans fats: natural and artificial. 

“Trans fats, or trans-fatty acids, are a form of unsaturated fat. They come in both natural and artificial forms. Natural, or ruminant, trans fats occur in the meat and dairy from ruminant animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats. They form naturally when bacteria in these animals’ stomachs digest grass. The best-known ruminant trans fat is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is found in dairy fat. It is believed to be beneficial and is marketed as a dietary supplement,” Healthline said.  

“However, artificial trans fats — otherwise known as industrial trans fats or partially hydrogenated fats — are hazardous to your health. These fats occur when vegetable oils are chemically altered to stay solid at room temperature, which gives them a much longer shelf life,” it added. 

In an interview with the media last Wednesday, Ho said that trans fats contribute to heart diseases. 

“Essentially, the set of diseases called cardiovascular diseases or non-communicable diseases na nagco-contribute ng pagbara ng mga arteries natin at alam natin na 'pag nababara siya, pwede tayong atakihin sa puso. 'Yung effect niya is accumulation, years and years of eating unhealthy, magbabara po sa mga arteries natin,” she said.  

Ho said that 3-in1 coffee is also part of the list that has trans fats. 

Related: Coffee lovers tend to live longer with less cancer risks — study

“Ayaw nating ilagay 'yung pressure sa bawat individual na tingin tayo ng tingin sa label ng mga nakikita natin sa groceries or supermarkets, that’s why we’re working with the industry para tanggalin siya and in turn kahit ka tumingin sa supermarket, alam mo na wala na siya do'n,” she added. 

RELATED: Remove artificial trans fat from products: DOH, FDA give food companies ultimatum


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with