The hidden killer in your junk food

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Category : Food

1The very thought of French fries, aloo tikkis and samosa’s food are bound to tickle the taste buds of any Indian. But have you ever wondered the kind of oil that is used to cook these mouth-watering items? In all likelihood the oil that is used contains a high amount of harmful fat called transfat. Besides, using oil containing high amount of transfat, the same oil is used in continuance by adding additional quantity in the used oil. This further enhances the concentration of transfats.

The scientists have declared that the transfats are as bad as smoking. Therefore, the scientists have been kachodidemanding regulations for limiting the use of transfats in the food items. Though small amounts of transfats are naturally present in dairy foods and animal products but the most common source of ar
tificial transfat is vanaspati, which has 40 per cent transfat. Most of the food manufacturers frequently use vanaspati oil because it is a cheap substitute for ghee; can be preserved longer and gives food items such as tikki a solid shape and texture.

Regular consumption of 80 gms of French fries or two- and- a- half samosa or one plate of bhatura for Choleabout a year can increase in risk of heart disease by The hidden killer in your junk food 23%. Transfats are also associated with increased risk of diabetes, infertility and certain types of cancers. Most restaurants are not willing to disclose the kind of cooking oil they use. Seven out of 12 roadside vendors openly admitted using vanaspati oil for frying food items like aloo tikki and aloo chaat, three did not reveal any information and two said they use refined oil. Most of the people are not aware about the harmful effects of transfats. Among Indian and the Western foods, bhatura, poori, samosa, fried aloo chat, halwa, aloo tikki, matthi, namakpara, kachori, fried namkeen, patty, cake, pastry, cookies, pizza and rusks are rich in transfats.

A committee led by the National Institute of Nutrition, an organisation under the Indian Council of Medical Research, has come out with recommendations to regulate the amount of transfats in oil. It has aaluargued that the amount of transfats should not exceed 10 per cent of the total fat content in vanaspati oil besides phasing out transfats ‘as early as possible’. Other recommendations include mentioning of transfat content along with that of saturated and unsaturated fat on the labels of all food items and edible oils. The recommendations have been submitted to the Food Safety and Standard Organisation. It is estimated that mere reduction in transfats to less than 10 per cent in vanaspati, would decrease the risk of heart disease in approximately 20 lakh people and many more will benefit from lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

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