WHO drafts new health guidelines on saturated fat
The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched an open public consultation draft guidelines for intake of saturated fat and trans fat.
The objective of these guidelines is to provide recommendations on the intake of saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids to reduce the risk of CVDs in adults and children.
The online public consultation was opened : 04 May to 01 June 2018. This allowed interest parties to comment on the draft guidelines before they are eventually finalised towards the end of 2018. During this time, the draft guidelines will also undergo peer-review by an external expert group. Once the peer-review and public consultation are complete, the guidelines will be finalized and reviewed by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee for final clearance prior to its official release.
[bctt tweet=”“Dietary saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are of particular concern because high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.” username=”dietcareghana”]
SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FAT
Saturated fatty acids are found in foods from animal sources such as butter, milk, meat, salmon, and egg yolks, and some plant-derived products such as chocolate and cocoa butter, coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.
Trans-fatty acids can be industrially produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable and fish oils, but also occur naturally in meat and dairy products from ruminant animals (e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, camels, etc.). Industrially-produced trans-fatty acids can be found in baked and fried foods (e.g. doughnuts, cookies, crackers and pies), pre-packaged snacks and food, and partially hydrogenated cooking oils and fats which are often used at home, in restaurants, or in the informal sector, such as street vendors.
WHO recommends that excessive amounts of saturated fat and trans fat should be replaced by polyunsaturated fats, such as fish, canola and olive oils
Reduced intake of saturated fatty acids have been associated with a significant reduction in risk of coronary heart disease when replaced with polyunsaturated fatty acids or carbohydrates from whole grains
Total fat consumption should not exceed 30 percent of total energy intake to avoid unhealthy weight gain
The WHO recommendations complement other guidelines including limiting intake of free sugars and sodium.
The recommendations in these guidelines can be used by policy-makers and programme managers to assess current intake levels of these fatty acids in their populations relative to a benchmark with a view to develop measures to decrease intake of saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids, where necessary, through a range of policy actions and public health interventions.
credit : World Health Organisation