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Facts On Fats Could Prompt Healthier Eating

Date:
March 25, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans included --- for the first time --- recommendations that U.S. consumers keep their intake of trans fatty acids as low as possible. The dietary guidelines now recommend consuming less than 10 percent of daily calories from saturated fatty acids; that's 22 grams or less for a 2,000-calorie diet. But a 2007 data analysis shows that about 64 percent of adults exceed this recommendation.

Food choices have a big impact on the amount of saturated fat in your diet. A croissant, which has about the same number of calories as a bagel, has 32 times as much saturated fat.
Credit: Photo by Scott Bauer

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans included—for the first time—recommendations that U.S. consumers keep their intake of trans fatty acids as low as possible. Landmark research conducted by scientists at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Beltsville, Md., contributed to that conclusion. The BHNRC is part of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

In the early ARS study, 58 adult volunteers were fed four different controlled diets, described as moderately high trans fat, high trans fat, high saturated fat, and high “heart healthy” oleic acid.

LDL "bad" cholesterol levels were measured each time the male and female volunteers completed a diet for a 6-week period. The study showed that after the volunteers consumed any of the trans-fat or saturated-fat diets—as opposed to the oleic acid diet—their LDL cholesterol levels were significantly increased.

The scientists also reported that it’s important not to replace dietary trans fats with saturated fats. The dietary guidelines now recommend consuming less than 10 percent of daily calories from saturated fatty acids; that's 22 grams or less for a 2,000-calorie diet. But a 2007 ARS data analysis shows that about 64 percent of adults exceed this recommendation.

The BHNRC researchers studied the levels and sources of saturated fat and unsaturated fats in the American diet. The analysis was based on nationally representative dietary-intake survey data from What We Eat in America/NHANES 2003-2004. The research was led by nutritionist Alanna J. Moshfegh, who heads the BHNRC Food Surveys Research Group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Facts On Fats Could Prompt Healthier Eating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321122604.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, March 25). Facts On Fats Could Prompt Healthier Eating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321122604.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Facts On Fats Could Prompt Healthier Eating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321122604.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

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