Why is Ovaltine banned in Denmark

Avoid harmful trans fats in food

Status: 04.12.2020 11:05 a.m.

Trans fats play a role in the development of diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. The unhealthy fatty acids can often be avoided when cooking.

Trans fats are unsaturated fatty acids. They arise when originally healthy vegetable oil is industrially hardened. This turns liquid oil into a lubricious grease. Trans fats are also created when oil is heated very strongly or several times over a long period of time, for example in the deep fryer.

Trans fats increase the level of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. These so-called low-density lipoproteins lead to deposits in the vessel walls (arteriosclerosis). Consumption is particularly dangerous for the overweight and diabetic and with increasing age.

What happens when oils are heated

When cooking, frying and deep-frying with fats and oils, high temperatures can change the molecular structures of the fat. The decisive factors are the duration and temperature. How long a fat can withstand the heat depends on its composition: the more saturated fatty acids it contains, the higher the so-called smoke point. Vegetable oils with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids can be converted into trans fats at temperatures as low as 130 degrees.

Recognize and avoid trans fats in foods

Trans fats are mainly contained in

  • Fast food and ready meals, such as french fries, pizza and burgers
  • Baked goods such as croissants, donuts and biscuits
  • Nibbles like chips, flips, and popcorn

In the ingredients of ready meals, trans fats are also listed as "vegetable fat, partially hydrogenated" or "unsaturated fatty acids, contains hydrogenated fats".

Recommended maximum amount exceeded quickly

On average, a person should not consume more than 2.6 grams of trans fats per day. However, a single croissant already contains up to 1 gram of trans fats, a Berliner even up to 2 grams and a small portion of French fries around 1 gram.

Denmark has reduced trans fats in food

In Denmark, food has not been allowed to contain more than two percent trans fats for 15 years. Since then, the number of heart disease has dropped significantly, according to a study, to around 700 deaths per year. In Germany there are currently no legal regulations for trans fats in food.

Use oils and fats with a high smoke point

Experts recommend the use of refined, heat-stable vegetable oils and fats for frying and cooking. The smoke point should be above 160 degrees if possible. The pan shouldn't get too hot and the oil shouldn't start to smoke.

  • Suitable For high heating, clarified butter, ghee (clarified butter), coconut fat and, according to the latest findings, extra virgin olive oil (higher smoke points between around 180 and 205 degrees), as well as refined oils from corn germ, sunflower, peanut, soy and rapeseed ( Smoke point: over 160-180 degrees), coconut oil (smoke point: 185 to 205 degrees). Extra virgin olive oil is ideal as a universal oil for both cold and warm dishes. Butter should not turn brown when heated, this is a sign of oxidation, which is harmful to health. Important: Frying fat from the pan should never be used more than once.
  • Rather not suitable is oil from wheat germ or cold-pressed rapeseed.

Tips for Avoiding Trans Fats

  • Do not overheat easily perishable oils with polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Pay attention to labels and avoid "hardened", "partially hardened" or "hydrogenated" vegetable fat.
  • Use clarified butter or peanut oil for frying and deep-frying.

Experts on the subject

Dr. Constanze Lohse, specialist in general medicine, nutritionist
Practice Berliner Allee
Berliner Allee 15
22850 Norderstedt

Dr. Melanie Hümmelgen, specialist in internal medicine and cardiology
Senior physician in the cardiology department and deputy medical director
RehaCentrum Hamburg
Martinistrasse 66
20246 Hamburg

Dr. Torsten Schröder, CMO (Chief Medical Officer)
Millionfriends, Perfood GmbH
At the asparagus farm 2
23554 Lübeck

Steen Stender, Affiliate Professor
Preventive and Clinical Nutrition Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports
Københavns University
Rolighedsvej 26, 1958 Frederiksberg

Selvihan Benda, Head of Unit
Consumer advice center Schleswig-Holstein e.V.
Hopfenstrasse 29, 24103 Kiel
0431/590 99-0

additional Information

German Nutrition Society V.
Godesberger Allee 18, 53175 Bonn, Germany

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Visit | December 8th, 2020 | 8:15 pm