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Ann Nutr Metab. 2016;68(4):249-57. doi: 10.1159/000446865. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Dietary Fatty Acids: Is it Time to Change the Recommendations?

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ScienceVoice Consulting, Denver, Colo., USA.


Limiting the saturated fatty acid (SAFA) consumption forms the basis of dietary fat recommendations for heart health, despite several meta-analyses demonstrating no link between dietary SAFA and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Three experts on dietary fat and health discussed the evidence of reducing SAFA intake at a symposium of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies in Berlin, Germany, October 23, 2015. Ronald P. Mensink, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, discussed the evidence linking dietary fatty acids and CVD risk. He emphasized the importance of the replacement nutrient(s) when SAFA intake is reduced. Julie Lovegrove, University of Reading, UK, addressed the question of whether higher intakes of unsaturated fatty acids are beneficial. She discussed the replacement of SAFA by polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), noting the reduction in CVD risk with PUFA replacement and in CVD risk markers with MUFA replacement of SAFA. Ursula Schwab, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland, discussed the importance of dietary patterns in achieving reduced risk of CVD, observing that several dietary patterns following the principles of a health-promoting diet and adapted to local customs, food preferences and seasonality are effective in reducing the risk of CVD, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. This paper summarizes the symposium presentations.

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