Healthier Oils Program

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and in the Latrobe Valley, 5.6% of the population reported having heart disease in 2012*. Replacing cooking oils that are high in saturated fat and trans fat with healthy oils can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Latrobe City Council and Latrobe Community Health Service have been implementing the Heart Foundation’s Healthier Oils Program across the Latrobe Valley since 2017. The program encourages food outlets to use healthier cooking oils in all food preparation activities, such as salad dressings, stir-frying, shallow frying, deep frying and baking.

Health Promotion Officers actively work alongside local food outlets, and encourage them to switch to healthier cooking oils through information and education.

Which oils are best to use?

The Healthier Oils Program recommends the use of cooking oils that are lower in saturated and trans fatty acids. These include canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, peanut oil and some vegetable oils.
Unhealthy cooking oils have considerable amounts of saturated and trans fatty acids. Palm oil, coconut oil and cottonseed oil are all classed as unhealthy.

A healthier oil should have:

  • 20g per 100ml or less of saturated fat
  • 1g per 100ml or less of trans fat

Why work with local food outlets?

People are dining out more than ever these days, whether it be at restaurants, cafes or fast food outlets. 10.7% of Latrobe Valley residents are eating take-away meals or snacks at least three times a week**. Many people do not think about the amount of saturated and trans fats they might be consuming.

By supporting our local food outlets to switch to healthier cooking oils, we are reducing the amounts of unhealthy fats community members are consuming. This switch is just one small step that can go a long way to reducing the rates of heart disease in the Latrobe Valley.

Sources

From: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/policiesandguidelines/Latrobe%20C Latrobe (C)
From: https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/media-and-resources/publications/vichealth-indicators-lga-profiles-2015 Latrobe LGA Profile VicHealth Indicators Survey 2015 Results