Three new guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) — Saturated fatty acid and trans-fatty acid intake for adults and children, Total fat intake for the prevention of unhealthy weight gain in adults and children, and Carbohydrate intake for adults and children — contain recommendations that aim to reduce the risk of unhealthy weight gain and diet-related noncommunicable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
WHO recommends that adults limit fat intake to 30% of their total energy intake, with no more than 10% of total energy coming from saturated fats, and less than 1% coming from trans fats. Image credit: Pexels.
WHO recommends that adults should limit total fat intake to 30% of total energy intake or less.
Fat consumed by everyone 2 years of age and older should be primarily unsaturated fatty acids, with no more than 10% of total energy intake coming from saturated fatty acids and no more than 1% of total energy intake from trans-fatty acids from both industrially produced and ruminant animal sources.
“WHO endorsement of advice to reduce total and saturated fat is helpful, because some popular diets which include radical restriction of carbohydrate suggest or imply that there is no need for any limitation on fat intake,” said Professor Sir Jim Mann from the Healthier Lives – He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge.
“Replacing saturated fats with mono and poly unsaturated fats, like those found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, and avocados, was associated with lower rates of heart disease,” added Dr. Andrew Reynolds, also from the Healthier Lives – He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge.
“And how much carbohydrate should we be eating? The evidence shows that a wide range of carbohydrate intake is compatible with a healthy diet (40-70% of our total energy intake), but it is the quality of the carbohydrate that is of key importance.”
“The new WHO advice recommends that carbohydrates should come primarily from whole grains, vegetables, whole fruits and pulses (such as kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils).”
“There are three main groups of dietary carbohydrate: sugars, starch, and fiber. Each of these groups has a different relationship to our health, so just talking about increasing or decreasing carbs is not that useful. Instead we should be talking about reducing sugar intakes and increasing fiber intakes.
“WHO recommends that adults consume at least 25 grams per day of naturally occurring dietary fiber from their food.”
“Our research has shown that the potential of dietary fiber to reduce the risk of common diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and colorectal cancer is much greater than had earlier been appreciated.”
“For example, an 8 gram per day increase in dietary fiber is associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or dying from heart disease.”
“Having clear and evidence-based dietary advice is important, but further steps are needed to make these recommendations accessible to everyone,” Professor Mann said.
Source : Breaking Science News