Experts at a discussion on Sunday blamed excessive intake of artificial trans-fats for increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2-diabetes, saying it is highly dangerous to human health.
Artificial trans-fats raise bad cholesterol levels in body with lowering good cholesterol levels, they said at an advocacy campaign titled ‘Eliminating Trans-fats, Reduce Heart Disease Risk’ at CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque addressed the function as the chief guest while Professor Dr M Habibe Millat, MP, Additional Secretary (Public health and world health) of Health and Family Welfare Ministry Rina Parvin, Additional Director General (Planning and Development)of Directorate General of Health Services Professor A H M Enayet Hussain also spoke, among others.
National Professor and founder President of National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh (NHFB) Brig. (Rtd.) Abdul Malik presided over the function jointly organised by NHFB, PROGGA (Knowledge and Power) and Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) with support of Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
There are two types of trans-fats – artificial and natural. Natural trans-fats are developed from animal produced foods like beef, mutton, dairy milk and dairy products, butter oil or ghee and butter.
Meanwhile, artificial trans-fats are produced by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils (palm, soybean etc.), converting the liquid oil into semi-solid fats, resulting in Partially Hydrogenated Oil (PHO).
PHOs are the main source of artificially trans fats popularly known as Dalda or Banaspati Ghee.
The WHO estimated that 17.9 million people across the globe die of cardiovascular diseases each year, while excessive trans-fat intake is estimated to be responsible for more than 500,000 of such deaths.
In Bangladesh, 277,000 deaths occur each year owing to a variety of heart diseases. The total elimination of trans-fat is the only option to prevent the rising menace of heart diseases as well as to effectively develop the public health.
Food manufacturers use partially hydrogenated oils to preserve their manufactured foods while it is also used in deep fried and baked foods for adding to the taste, flavour and stability of such processed foods.
Artificial trans-fats are also produced while deep frying foods using the same oil repeatedly for a long time in high temperature.
Usually restaurants use the same oil for multiple cycles in order to reduce their cost for preparing Singara, Samosa, Puri, Jilapi, Chicken Fries, French fries and other fried foods and ultimately increase the amount of trans-fats within these foods, reports BSS.