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AND Updates Dietary Fat

A new position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) says that healthy adults should consume 20%–35% of calories from dietary fat, increase their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, and limit their intake of saturated and trans fats.

Published in the January issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (114; [1], 136–53), “Dietary Fatty Acids for Healthy Adults” recommends the following in addition to the advice stated above:

  • A simple and effective way to improve health is to eat more fish, nuts and seeds and to consume fewer desserts and convenience foods.
  • Fat is a critical nutrient, and certain types of fat, such as omega-3s and omega-6s, are needed for good health. For this and other health reasons, a fat-free diet is not recommended.
  • Fish is an excellent source of the omega-3s EPA and DHA; flax, walnuts and canola oil are good sources of ALA omega-3.
  • Both the amount of fat (how much) and the type of fat (what foods) in the diet can affect health and risk of disease.
  • Different foods provide different types of fat. Some fats improve your health (omega-3s help your heart and brain), while some are detrimental to your health (trans fat raises the risk of heart disease).

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