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New heart health claim

About 44% of Canadians have high blood cholesterol which is a risk factor for heart disease. Health Canada has recently approved the following new heart health claim: “Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from vegetable oils helps lower/reduce cholesterol.” The claim may be applied to vegetable oils or a food made with vegetable oil provided that the food meets the specific criteria. For example, one of the criteria is that the vegetable oil must contain more than 80% polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.

Healthier oils are pictured in the chart above by larger blue, orange and yellow coloured bands which show the relative percentages of polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, and smaller red bands which show saturated fats.

What’s the consumer advice? Switch from saturated fats such as butter and lard to healthier oils such as canola, safflower and sunflower.

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