New guidelines might help fatty foods make comeback

Americans might see fatty foods making a strong comeback later this year i.e. when the new set of Dietary Guidelines for the country will be enforced. This latest version of Dietary Guidelines might introduce several big changes and it is believed that exoneration of fat is one of them.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a panel comprising of 14 experts, first hinted about introduction of these changes in a report submitted earlier this year. The said report was on diet and health-related scientific evidence gathered since the current Dietary Guidelines got published five years back.

The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health & Human Services will be updating the Dietary Guidelines based on the recommendations made in the Advisory Committee’s report. These guidelines, as indicated above, are updated once in every five years and have a strong impact on the eating habits of Americans.

Fatty Food

According to the committee’s report, there’s no particular health benefit of limiting the quantity of total fat in our diet. The guidelines of 2005 and 2010, on the other hand, clearly stated that calories from fat shouldn’t make up more than 20-35% of our daily calorie consumption.

Although this year’s report hasn’t recommended limiting daily fat intake, it has suggested keeping calories from saturated fat within 10% of total calories consumed daily. Food items such as beef, whole milk, cheese and butter contain saturated fat.

Millennium Prevention’s Barbara Millen, who is the current head of the Advisory Committee, said that the committee wanted to emphasize on the quality of fat and not the quantity of total fat consumed because evidence collected between 2010 and 2015 suggests that saturated fat is responsible for inviting health problems and not the total fat consumption.

The committee’s report has concluded that limiting consumption of saturated fat may decrease the risk of heart diseases if it gets replaced by polyunsaturated fat. Some food items that are rich sources of polyunsaturated fat are trout, salmon and other fatty fish and vegetable oils like corn oil and soybean oil. However, according to the committee, one cannot expect to reduce his or her risk of developing a heart disease by replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates.

The committee has also said that monounsaturated fat, the fat type found in peanut oil and olive oil, can be beneficial for our heart health.