Two senior doctors have called for a ban on trans fats from all foods in the UK, claiming that prohibition on the trans fatty acids would prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths every year.

Trans fats are solid fats found in margarines, biscuits, cakes, and fast food. Many studies demonstrate harmful effects of trans fats on cardiovascular risk factors. The authors, from Harvard School of Public Health in the US, doled out their advice on bmj.com.

Trans fats raise the amount of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad cholesterol’ in the blood and reduce the amount of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good cholesterol.’ People with high levels of LDL cholesterol tend to have a higher risk of getting heart disease, while people with high levels of HDL cholesterol tend to have a lower risk.