“Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats,” Americans are advised by the new Dietary Guidelines for 2015-20120 issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The guidelines recommend “that saturated fat be replaced with unsaturated and especially polyunsaturated fat,” says Frank Hu. “It basically says that we should eat a low-saturated fat diet rather than simply a low-fat diet.”
Hu, a diet researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, served on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that provided the groundwork for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Guidelines.
“The recommendation is a target based on evidence that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease,” he explains.
Which foods to watch out for?
While we usually connect saturated fat with animal foods like beef and butter, almost half of the saturated fat in the American diet comes from non-animal foods.
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