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New Global Health Guidelines to Tackle ‘Bad' Fats

Saturated fats are found mostly in foods from animal sources such as butter, milk, meat, salmon, and egg yolks, and some plant-derived products such as chocolate and cocoa butter, coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. Meats with the most saturated fat include steak, hamburger, bacon, sausages, ribs, chicken or turkey skin and many deli types of meat.
07 May 2018 15:33

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People everywhere need to cut down on their consumption of artery-clogging fatty foods, the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging, in a new report.

The initiative is a bid to prevent some of the 17 million deaths caused every year by cardiovascular diseases, which have been linked to food containing saturated fats and trans-fats.

Saturated fats are found mostly in foods from animal sources such as butter, milk, meat, salmon, and egg yolks, and some plant-derived products such as chocolate and cocoa butter, coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. Meats with the most saturated fat include steak, hamburger, bacon, sausages, ribs, chicken or turkey skin and many deli types of meat. 

Such acids are a major risk factor for heart attack or stroke because they raise cholesterol levels and restrict blood flow to some parts of the brain or the heart, according to the World Health Organisation-WHO.

Dr Francesco Branca, WHO's nutrition director says that there are healthier alternatives to food laden with bad saturated and trans-fats. These include lean meats like skinless turkey or chicken, fish or most cuts of pork are lower in fat and healthier alternatives.

He says that adults and children must make an effort to reduce their intake of these fats to just 10 percent of total daily energy needs.

                                                                                                                          

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Before WHO publishes its draft guidelines officially later this year, it intends to hold public consultations around the world to ensure that they best meet regional needs.

Dr Branca highlighted that since the UN agency first issued advice on saturated and trans-fats in 2002, there has been significant progress in raising awareness about the threat they pose – particularly in richer nations.

But although Western Europe has “almost eliminated” industrial trans-fat use today and Denmark has banned it altogether, Dr Branca cautioned that poorer regions faced major challenges in tackling the threat. These include several countries in Eastern Europe, as well as India, Pakistan, Iran, many African states and Argentina.

In some cases, Dr Branca warned that trans-fat levels in some popular street foods are as much as 200 times the recommended daily intake.

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