Avoid Trans Fatty Foods to Stay Healthy amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A major cause of cardiovascular diseases is transfat-laden food. The World Health Organization advised to avoid the foods that contain trans-fat in order to stay healthy and improve the body immunity during COVID-19 outbreak. The WHO also advised people to have foods free of industrially produced trans-fat during the self-isolation and quarantine due to coronavirus.

Progga press release queting health experts said that trans-fat should be avoided from daily diet in order to live a healthier life with stronger immunity during the COVID-19 outbreak and lower the risk of heart diseases.

Patients with heart diseases are more likely to develop severe illness from COVID-19 infection. Foods containing excessive trans-fat are unhealthy and are more likely to cause heart diseases, said experts. Around 277,000 people die each year in Bangladesh due to coronary heart diseases. In Bangladesh, about 8,000 people yearly die due to intake of high levels of trans-fats, according to a research done in 2010.

Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) Assistant Director Enamul Hoque said, industrially-produced trans-fats, known as dalda or bonospoti ghee in local markets, were silent toxic killers. A high-level of trans-fats in foods increases the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduces the good cholesterol (HDL) in the human body, he said.

“Intake of excessive levels of trans-fats can cause plaque in blood vessels, disrupting the flow of blood, leading to early heart attack and resulting in premature deaths. Trans-fats can often be found in processed foods, fast food, snacks, fried food items, biscuits, cookies, margarine and others,’ he added.

WHO has set a global target of eliminating industrially produced trans-fatty acids from food supply chain by 2023. About 30 countries including India, Thailand, Iran, Austria, Norway, South Africa and Brazil have already taken steps to determine the maximum limit of trans-fat in food while another 24 were in the process to lower the limit to 2.0 per cent. However, Bangladesh is still far from implementing the REPLACE action package announced by WHO in 2018 despite the target to eliminate trans-fat by 2023.

According to Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), ‘Transfat-laden food must be avoided to keep safe from all non-communicable diseases including heart diseases. Excessive intake of trans-fat can increase death risks up to 34%.’

 As per the recommendation of WHO, the daily intake of trans-fat for a person should be less than 1 percent of the total calorie intake, which is less than 2.2 grams of trans-fat in a daily diet of 2000 calories. The only way of abstaining from trans-fat-laden food is awareness. That is why awareness is the key to keep you free from risks.”

Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) officials said that the BFSA has recently started to develop a policy to reduce the maximum level of transfats to 2%. A committee of 10 members have been formed in order to reduce the amount of trains-fat in all edible oils and food items. The authority indicated that policy directives would be taken following the standards set out by the World Health Organization


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