European Union orders reduction of unsaturated fat in food

They hide in croissants, pizzas or cakes: “trans” fatty acids make processed products firmer and facilitate their preservation, but they are led to disappear, being notoriously unhealthy.

New European legislation requires food industry professionals to limit the amount of these industrial fats from Friday April 2 to 2 grams per 100 grams of fat. It has been two years since the European Union announced this limitation. From now on, it enters into force in all member countries.

Harmful to health

Epidemiological studies have shown that excessive consumption of trans fatty acids (intake greater than 2% of total energy intake) is associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. This is what the National Agency for Health and Food Security (ANSES) indicates on its website.

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Their frequent consumption is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes, infertility, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers. These harmful effects go through an increase in ” bad “ cholesterol and a drop in ” Well “ cholesterol.

In 2003, Denmark already limited the share of these unsaturated fats in food products to 2%. In the United States, they were completely banned as of June 2015.

Nearly 500,000 deaths per year

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it wanted to completely eliminate these trans fatty acids by 2023. It estimated that they cause nearly half a million deaths per year worldwide, through the cardiovascular diseases they promote. Their overconsumption increases the risk of death by 28%, according to the international agency.

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While these trans fatty acids can be manufactured industrially, some are naturally produced in the stomachs of ruminant animals via bacteria. They are then found in their meat, their milk and the dairy products which result from it.

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