As of September 15, 2018, the Government of Canada will be banning the sale of all products containing partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrial trans fats in Canadian foods.

Although Canadians have greatly reduced their intake of trans fats in recent decades (in the 1990s, we were among the world’s biggest consumers of trans fats), some of our most commonly eaten foods are still rich in trans fats originating from partially hydrogenated oils. These fats continue to be used because they improve the texture and taste of foods, as well as their shelf life.

  • Consuming trans fats increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (a leading cause of death in Canada).
  • According to studies, banning partially hydrogenated oils could prevent  12,000 heart attacks  over the next 20 years in Canada.
  • Trans fats can increase “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol in our blood

Although most major food companies have already phased out industrial trans fats from their products, many products continue to contain them.

Here’s a partial list of foods that are high in trans fats:

  • Ready-to-serve frozen foods: pizza, French fries, egg rolls, etc.
  • Fried foods: chicken nuggets, French fries, imperial rolls, etc.
  • Ready-to-eat foods: taco shells, pie crusts, cake mixes and icing, puff pastry, etc.
  • Commercial bakery products: donuts, pies, cakes, danishes, etc.
  • Toaster pastries: waffles, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, etc.
  • Packaged snacks: chips, crackers, puddings, soft bars, cookies, microwave popcorn, etc.
  • Solid margarine and shortening

It’s worth noting that only industrial trans fats (that is, originating from partially hydrogenated oils) will be banned. Trans fats that occur naturally in food of animal origin such as dairy products and meat will continue to be sold.