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Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Oct;48(4):970-9.

Nutrient content of the diet when the fat is reduced.

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  • 1US Department of Agriculture, ARS, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129.


When the fat content of the typical US diet was reduced from 40 to 44% of total energy (en %) to approximately 25 en % there was a marked improvement in the overall nutrient content of the diet. Cholesterol, saturated fatty acid, and monounsaturated fatty acid intake were decreased and the polyunsaturated fatty acid content was moderately increased. This kind of dietary change was achieved without changing the usual intake of meats, dairy products, fish, and eggs. As the amount of fat was decreased, carbohydrates in the form of grains, fruits, and vegetables were increased, providing an improvement in the vitamin and mineral content of the diet. Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, B-12, and folates increased in the 25 en % diet. Potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and copper intake also increased when the dietary fat decreased.

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