The Breakdown - WHO vs. trans fats

Why does the World Health Organization want to ban trans fats worldwide? Anchor Kaitlin Monte explains in the Breakdown.

To understand trans fats, look at margarine. You know how it's super easy to spread? Melts really well? Flavorful? That has a lot to do with trans fats.

Food companies started producing trans fats and adding them to stuff to get certain textures, flavors, and consistencies. But until the 90's, no one realized they were so bad for us.

Research consistently finds that trans fans more easily layer up in your arteries than other fats. Since fatty arteries lead to heart attacks, the World Health Organization says they need people to ban this stuff.

New York City has had a trans fat ban since 2006. People worried things wouldn't taste as good anymore, but the restaurants and bakeries have adjusted. Within a few years, New York City area hospitals reported a 6-percent drop in heart attacks and strokes.

Some foods like meat and milk have natural trans fats, but not in quantities that you need to worry about.

The World Health Organization is specifically concerned about industrially-produced trans fats—often called "partially hydrogenated oils."

As for you, its' recommended you eat less than 2 grams of trans fats a day. Food fried in oil, cooked in shortening, or treats that are frozen or creamy, are most likely to have trans fats.

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