An Australian panel called Review of Food Labeling and Policy is considering a recommendation of a required labeling of trans-fat in Australian foods or going a step further with a total ban for the country.
Trans-fats are widely considered one of the most dangerous fats in our diet, more dangerous than saturated fat. Due to this fact, many countries have looked into its adverse health consequences on its citizens.
Hidden within foods, consumers do not know these fats are there. Trans-fat is an unsaturated fat that contains trans-isomer fatty acids.
Partial hydrogenation is the chemical process that produces trans-fat. So it the label says partially hydrogenated oils, you know trans-fats are used.
Currently in Australia, food companies are not required to list trans-fat as one of the ingredients in their foods, based on the Australian law. The consumption of trans-fat is known to increase the risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and strokes by increasing the level of bad cholesterol, LDL and reducing the level of good cholesterol, HDL.
Thus, the situation of hidden trans-fat in foods, makes it hard for consumers to know if they are consuming trans-fat and how much are they consuming.
Trans-fats are one of the most harmful things in our diet. But how can people avoid trans-fats if they aren't labeled? said Dr Rosemary Stanton, an Australian nutritionist.
The panel led by former Australian Health Minister, Dr Neal Blewett is pushing for a total ban of high levels of trans fat starting with a compulsory labeling of foods containing trans-fat in Australia.
If the labels show particularly health-debilitating levels of trans-fat, the panel recommends for a total ban of trans-fat in Australia, following the move made by Switzerland and Denmark.