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A Canada-wide ban on trans fats is now in effect

Canada just got a little bit healthier.

Starting today, the main source of artificial trans fat in all food sold in Canada, hydrogenated oils, is banned throughout the country.

The new rules will make it illegal for manufacturers to use the additive in any food made or imported into the country, as well as any meals prepared in restaurants.

"As Minister of Health, I am very concerned with the rise in heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in Canada," said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada's minister of health.

"Health Canada’s ban on partially hydrogenated oils in the food supply is part of the Government of Canada’s action to help protect Canadians from diet-related chronic disease."

Trans fats have been used for the last century in an effort to add taste and texture to food, but they also increase the levels of “bad” cholesterol, which raises the risk of heart disease.

Eliminating these heart-clogging fats will reduce the amount of heart attacks nationwide, says Yves Savoie of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

The ban was unveiled by the federal government last year, but the food industry was given until today to adapt to the changes.

However, any products containing trans fats can be sold for the next two years as long as they were manufactured before the ban came into effect today.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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