Total Fat Intake versus Healthy Wholefoods & Diet Patterns

The obsession with fat intake needs to end, say Dariush Mozaffarian and David Ludwig writing in the New Scientist.

“For decades we have been fed official limits on the total fat in our diets. It’s time that ended, a position we have summarised in the journal JAMA ( 6s2). Dietary policies have long emphasised limits. In 1980, the US recommended that no more than 30% of daily calories should come from fat.

The World Health Organisation and many countries followed suit. In place of fat, we were told to eat more carbohydrates. People and industry took the message to heart, and fat-reduced products followed – often rich in refined starch, added sugars and salt. But by 2000, growing research showed benefits from healthy fats, refined carbs, sugars and salt; and away from healthy higher-fat foods such as nuts, vegetable oils and whole-fat diary products.

By focussing on total fat, dietary guidelines, policies and food formulations have at times become bizarre and paradoxical. Let’s remove this obsolete limit and focus instead on healthy wholefoods and diet patterns.”


Mozaffarian, D. & Ludwig, D. (2015) Fat Unlimited. New Scientist. 22 August 2015, pp. 26-27.

The US Dietary Guidelines 2015 can be found here (still to be published at the time of this post).



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