Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US and the number one cause of death in seniors over the age of 65. For those who do not die outright from a heart attack, many of them will be left disabled or will need operations like coronary bypass surgery, which may lead to further complications. For instance, there are often neurological problems following open heart surgery like delirium, memory loss and cognitive decline. Usually, this is temporary, but many people never regain what they lost. The theory is that the general anesthesia and the open heart surgery causes a decrease in blood flow to the brain. In fact, some seniors develop neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease following heart surgery.
The World Health Organization (WHO) wants trans fats to be replaced because they lead to cardiovascular disease. The WHO estimates that every year more than 500,000 people die from cardiovascular disease. Trans fats are partially hardened oils like margarine and ghee that are manufactured in factories. They came into use during the 50s, to be used instead of saturated fats like butter, which is also unhealthy for the heart. it was believed that margarine was safer than butter. Margarine was used in baking, cooking, frying and spreading on bread. Margarine is also the main fat used in commercially made snack foods and all kinds of processed foods, mainly because it has a longer shelf life than foods made with different fats. However, this turned out to be a catastrophe and there was a considerable rise rather than a decrease in heart disease and strokes.
Researchers then discovered that trans fats are even more deadly than saturated fats like butter. Margarine and other partially hydrogenated trans fats cause an increase in LDL cholesterol and a decrease in HDL cholesterol. This leads to coronary artery disease which leads to heart attacks and strokes. The WHO claims that trans fats raise the risk of heart attacks by 21% and raise the risk of deaths from heart attacks by 28%.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of WHO issued the call to all world governments to use the six point REPLACE package to eradicate industrially produced trans fats from the food supply, which will lead to a great world-wide victory against cardiovascular disease.
REPLACE provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the food supply:
REview dietary sources of industrially produced trans fats and the landscape for required policy change.
Promote the replacement of industrially produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.
Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially produced trans fats.
Assess and monitor trans fats content in the food supply and changes in trans fat consumption in the population.
Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans fats among policy makers, producers, suppliers, and the public.
Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.
Denmark was the first country to place restrictions on trans fats and the rate of cardiovascular disease dropped. Following Denmark’s example, New York City also succeeded to eliminate the use of trans fats.
Today’s seniors who ate trans fats for years are now paying for the mistakes of those who told everyone to switch from butter to margarine. This does not mean that eating a lot of saturated fats like butter is healthy, but the trans fats are even worse. At the same time that today’s seniors began consuming margarine during the 50s, it was noted then that people living around the Mediterranean who used extra virgin olive oil as their only oil and fat had lower rates of heart disease, strokes, dementia and diabetes than those living in countries like the US. Had people been encouraged to switch from butter to extra virgin olive oil rather than from butter to margarine we might all be in better health today. However, now that it is known that trans fats are dangerous and raise the risk for heart attacks and strokes, everyone should obey the WHO and stop using trans fats.
Get rehab and healthcare news from Ditmas Park Rehab Center