Eat less saturated, trans fats to curb heart disease — WHO

File photo showing a gourmet meal seen by many as rich in fat. (Reuters)
Updated 04 May 2018
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Eat less saturated, trans fats to curb heart disease — WHO

GENEVA: Adults and children should consume a maximum of 10 percent of their daily calories in the form of saturated fat such as meat and butter and one percent from trans fats to reduce the risk of heart disease, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
The draft recommendations, the first since 2002, are aimed at reducing non-communicable diseases, led by cardiovascular diseases, blamed for 72 percent of the 54.7 million estimated deaths worldwide every year, many before the age of 70.
“Dietary saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are of particular concern because high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, told reporters.
The dietary recommendations are based on scientific evidence developed in the last 15 years, he added.
The United Nations agency has invited public comments until June 1 on the recommendations, which it expects to finalize by year-end.
Saturated fat is found in foods from animal sources such as butter, cow’s milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks, and in some plant-derived products such as chocolate, cocoa butter, coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.
An active adult needs about 2,500 calories per day, Branca said.
“So we are talking about 250 calories coming from saturated fat and that is approximately a bit less than 30 grams of saturated fat,” he said.
That amount of fat could be found in 50 grams (1.76 oz) of butter, 130-150 grams of cheese with 30 percent fat, a liter of full fat milk, or in 50 grams of palm oil, he said.

TRANS FATS
Trans fats occur naturally in meat and dairy products. But the predominant source is industrially-produced and contained in baked and fried foods such as fries and doughnuts, snacks, and partially hydrogenated cooking oils and fats often used by restaurants and street vendors.
In explicit new advice, WHO said that excessive amounts of saturated fat and trans fat should be replaced by polyunsaturated fats, such as fish, canola and olive oils.
“Reduced intake of saturated fatty acids have been associated with a significant reduction in risk of coronary heart disease when replaced with polyunsaturated fatty acids or carbohydrates from whole grains,” it said.
Total fat consumption should not exceed 30 percent of total energy intake to avoid unhealthy weight gain, it added.
The recommendations complement other WHO guidelines including limiting intake of free sugars and sodium.


US issues health alert on romaine lettuce

In this file photo taken on May 2, 2018, Romaine lettuce is displayed at a grocery store in San Anselmo, California. (AFP)
Updated 21 November 2018
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US issues health alert on romaine lettuce

  • Health officials in Canada said they had also identified 18 people stricken with the same strain of food poisoning in two provinces, Ontario and Quebec

WASHINGTON: US health officials warned consumers Tuesday not to eat any romaine lettuce and to throw away any they might have in their homes, citing an outbreak of E. coli poisoning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the warning against all Romaine lettuce just two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, when American families gather and feast together.
“Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said, after 32 people were reported sick from E. coli poisoning in 11 states, with 13 of them hospitalized. One of those had suffered kidney failure.
Health officials in Canada said they had also identified 18 people stricken with the same strain of food poisoning in two provinces, Ontario and Quebec.
“This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad,” the CDC said, noting that it had not been able to pinpoint precisely where the suspect leaves had originated.
“If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away,” the CDC said.
It advised anyone who had stored romaine lettuce in their refrigerator to wash down the shelves where the leaves had been kept.
No deaths have so far been reported.