Donuts, chips or fries contain dangerous trans fats. The World Health Organization actually wants to ban industrially produced trans fats from the food chain. However, an interim balance shows that more than five of the approximately eight billion people are still not adequately protected.

Harmful industrially produced trans fats are still used in food and more than five of the approximately eight billion people are not adequately protected from them. This was an interim report from the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday. She had actually wanted to ensure that the harmful components largely disappeared from the food chain worldwide by 2023.

“Trans fats are toxic substances that kill,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It’s time to ban them from food once and for all.” The WHO called on governments that haven’t already done so to drastically limit the approval of trans fats. Countries with a high disease burden include Egypt, Pakistan and South Korea.

Trans fats or trans fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that can arise through natural and food technological processes. According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), a high intake has a negative effect on health, as the risk of a lipid metabolism disorder is increased. The risk of coronary heart disease also increases accordingly.

According to the WHO, trans fats are responsible for the premature death of half a million people every year from coronary heart disease.

Since 2021, only foods that contain less than two grams of industrial trans fats per 100 grams of fat may be sold in the EU. Denmark had drastically restricted industrial trans fats around 20 years ago – and according to WHO information, then recorded a decline in cardiovascular diseases.

Trans fats are formed when actually healthy vegetable oil is hardened industrially: The dangerous fatty acids are formed when oil is heated too much or too often. So they are mainly found in deep-frying fat, but they can also be found in types of margarine.

According to the DGE, the foods that can contain significant amounts of trans fatty acids include baked goods and confectionery as well as fried potato products and ready meals. Specifically in the following products:

The DGE recommends consuming no more than one percent of dietary energy (an average of 2.6 grams) from trans fats. The problem: The recommended maximum amount is quickly exceeded. A small portion of French fries contains around one gram of trans fats, 100 grams of crisps contain seven grams, a croissant contains around one gram and a donut contains up to two grams of trans fats.

Here’s how to avoid trans fats: