As I prepare to go to Houston for meeting 4 of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: Meeting 4 I’ve been reviewing the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020).
The mixed dishes food category is the major source of saturated fats in the United States, with 35 percent of all saturated fats coming from mixed dishes, especially those dishes containing cheese, meat, or both. These include burgers, sandwiches, and tacos; pizza; rice, pasta, and grain dishes; and meat, poultry, and seafood dishes. The other food categories that provide the most saturated fats in current diets are snacks and sweets, protein foods, and dairy products.A Closer Look at Current Intakes and Recommended Shifts – 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov
The advice given in current Dietary Guidelines
What’s offered in the current Guidelines is:
… eat fat-free / low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, and
use oil-based dressings and spreads on foods instead of those made from solid fats (e.g. butter, stick margarine, cream cheese)A Closer Look at Current Intakes and Recommended Shifts – 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov
A prominent piece of guidance is to reduce saturated fat intake to below 10% of consumed calories.
The challenge of these recommendations:
- The majority of saturated fat in the Standard American Diet (SAD) comes from processed/junk food
- The evidence that saturated fat is harmful is not clear, and it’s hard to be know the impact of saturated fat in the diet if it’s eaten the way presented above
Maybe better advice is to reduce intake of processed/junk food
These papers are relevant here.
- Just Read: US dietary guidelines: is saturated fat a nutrient of concern?
- Just Read: Saturated Fat: Part of a Healthy Diet
- Just Read: Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions
- See: Saturated fats: do they cause heart disease? — The Nutrition Coalition
Happy to answer questions in the comments.