Saturated fat should be maximum 10 percent of diet, WHO says

May 4 (UPI) — A person’s diet should contain only 10 percent of saturated fats and 1 percent from trans fats, according to new draft guidelines issued Friday by the World Health Organization.

The new guidelines are part of an attempt to reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases. WHO is launching the initiative because cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of noncommunicable deaths in the world, with around one-third of all 54.7 million deaths worldwide in 2016 attributed to them.

“Modifiable risk factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol are major causes of CVDs,” the WHO said in a press release. “Dietary saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are of particular concern as high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of CVDs.”

WHO’s population nutrient goals for the prevention of noncommunicable NCDs were established in 1989, and later updated in 2002.

Before the guidelines are approved, WHO is seeking public comment on them starting Friday, and running through June 1. An external expert group will also provide a peer-review of the guidelines before they are finalized.

Saturated fat comes from butter, milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks in animals, and is found in some plant-derived products such as chocolate, cocoa butter, coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.

The 10 percent guideline for adults and children is the same level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a daily diet of 2,500 calories, 10 percent comes out out to about 25 grams of saturated fat.

Among commonly-eaten foods, 3 ounces of regular ground beef contains 6.1 grams of saturated fat, fried chicken contains 3.3 grams, fried fish contains 2.8 grams, a regular slice of cheese contains 6 grams, 1 cup of 1 percent fat milk contains 4.6 grams and 1 teaspoon of butter contains 2.4 grams.

Trans fats also occur naturally in meat and dairy products and they also are contained in baked and fried foods, including doughnuts, cookies, crackers and pie, pre-packaged snack.

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