September 30, 2009

British Columbia bans trans fats to boost public health

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Today marks the beginning of the end for those nasty trans fats at restaurants, schools and other  establishments serving food to the public in British Columbia, writes Richard Watts of the Victoria Times Colonist.

At first restaurants that violate the rules will be warned, but fines are expected to be levied starting in a few weeks.

The changes will show up in margarines and oils, where trans fats can make up no more than 2 percent of all fats in the dish. Other foods must have no more than 5 percent trans fats.

The artery-clogging trans fats are created in heating oil to very high temperatures, and they are implicated in the deaths of some 3,000 Canadians annually.

Fast-food outlets are particularly reliant on foods with high contents of trans fats. The Calorie Counter blog tracked quantified the 88 worst dishes one could eat, trans fats-wise, at fast food joints, although the list appears to be U.S. outlets only. We’re pretty sure you’d find plenty of trans fats at the likes of Tim Hortons and White Spot, though. Perhaps they will be finding alternatives now.

— Robert McClure

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