Fat in Food: Fats and Oils in the Changing American Diet

Ignore people who say that the U.S. has been on a low-fat diet. Total fats and oils have climbed fairly steadily since 1970. (In 2000, the number of companies reporting data to the USDA jumped, so the rise was probably less steep than it appears.)


The good news: shortening and margarines now have less trans. And (largely unsaturated) salad and cooking oils have replaced (more saturated) shortening. Less shortening would be even better. Who needs all those pies, pastries, and cookies?

Below is a chart showing fat consumption trends in America over the past 40 years.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture


Other relevant links:

20 Replies to “Fat in Food: Fats and Oils in the Changing American Diet”

  1. Love to know what oil will be replacing canola as I understand that it is not as healthy as previously noted. I personally use grape seed oil frequently, and all my oils, olive, canola are organic. I also find that if a recipe calls for using two tablespoons to sauté vegetables, etc, less than one does the job just as well. Thanks.

  2. Sorry, I still use butter, especially in cooking. Iit’s sure better than margarine especially in terms of taste.
    Try to use extra virgin olive oilor canola whenever possible, but sometimes taste is an important feature and only butter will suffice.

  3. Two questions: Why is coconut oil , a very saturated fat, getting such rave reviews?
    Also, why is canola oil now not considered healthful?

  4. ATTN Judith Ross (above)
    Please give us your source for your statement that
    canola oil is “not as healthy as previously noted.”
    Austin Ted Paulnack, Syracuse NY

  5. Do these data refer to processed foods in the grocery and freezer aisles? Or to purchases of oils, shortening, margarines. Or what?

    And where do you answer all these questions?

  6. Yes, coconut oil is a brilliant fat to use. It is a MCFA that is antiviral, antibacterial, and stimulates metabolism, It is stable at room temperature which means it is not subject to rancidity. I believe the body needs a variety of fatty acids to supply us with the necessary building blocks for health. From EFA’s -Whole from nuts and seeds, Polys, Mono’s and Sat Fats. Our body needs the entire spectrum. It it time to reevaluate the fear around eating and cooking with saturated fats. Our brain is made up of 60% fat and most of that is cholesterol. Our hormones and neurotransmitters need saturated fat as well as our heart muscle which needs sat fat to function well. CD is caused by inflammation due to oxidative stress in the body usually from over processed damaged vegetable oils, and processed grain carbohydrates. Cholesterol is mostly made by the body, not from consumed foods. Read Mary Enig’s work. Look into The Cholesterol Myth by Dr. Steven Sinatra. These 2 experts set the record straight, including Dr. Natasha Cambell McBride on the GAPS diet on the benefits of natural fats. So, eat your butter! Look at the Thai people and research the Fats industry as we need to go back to the basics on sound science based Nutrition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *