News release: Finally off our plates — farewell trans fats

Heart & Stroke applauds Health Canada announcement to ban industrially produced trans fats

Heart & Stroke congratulates Health Canada for banning industrial trans fats in all food sold in Canada, as part of the Healthy Eating Strategy. This effort will reduce the number of heart attacks in Canada and save lives.

“Heart & Stroke is thrilled these heart clogging fats will be eliminated from our food supply,” says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “While trans fats levels have been decreasing they are still high in baked goods and foods often consumed by children and other vulnerable populations. Canadians should not have to worry about consuming foods that are not safe to eat.”

Industrially processed trans fats give products a longer shelf life but they also raise ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol. A high consumption of trans fats leads to a threefold increase in risk of heart disease and is responsible for thousands of cardiac deaths every year in Canada. These dangerous fats are found in hard margarines, commercially fried foods and bakery products. The ban will come into force on September 15, 2018 to provide the food industry time to adapt.

Heart & Stroke co-chaired the Trans Fat Task Force which made recommendations in 2006 to eliminate industrially produced trans fats, allowing for the small amounts that naturally occur in some foods such as dairy products, beef and lamb and some oils.

“After many years of working with Health Canada and our partners it is wonderful to see this healthy public policy being put into place,” says Yves Savoie. Heart & Stroke is looking forward to the roll out of further components of the Healthy Eating Strategy including revisions to the Food Guide, which currently proposes removing juice as an alternative to vegetables and fruit. Updating this recognized resource will improve Canadians’ food choices through guidance around limiting processed foods, avoiding beverages high in sugar and consuming more plant-based foods.

Heart & Stroke also encourages the government to continue moving forward with its proposal to strengthen front of package nutrition labelling requirements for food and beverages, where information would be most visible. In particular warning labels for items high in sugar, saturated fat or salt would provide quick and easy guidance and steer consumers away from unhealthy choices.

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.

Contact Information

Jane-Diane Fraser
Manager, Communications, Heart & Stroke
613.691.4020 or 613.406.3282