I’m on a panel for the NYAS’s conference on Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare: Opportunities for Self-Reflection and Action, June 24-25. Location: 7 World Trade Center. 250 Greenwich St, 40th Floor. Information and registration are here. My panel is on the 25th at 10:45 a.m. , Session VI: Hot topic discussion: getting to the truth in nutrition science. Other panelists are Mona Calvo fro Penn State, Mehmood Khan from Life Biosciences, and Linda Van Horn from Northwestern. Moderator is Julia Belluz from Vox.
WHO seeks comments on saturated fat and trans fat
The World Health Organization (WHO) is collecting comments until June 4 on its recent “consultation” (committee report) on saturated fat and trans fat.
The consultation recommends:
- Saturated fat: no more than 10% of calories
- Trans fat: no more than 1% of calories
These recommendations are consistent with
- WHO advice from 2002
- The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Other dietary recommendations dating back decades
I wish that dietary recommendations would refer to foods, not nutrients.
We don’t eat specific fatty acids. We eat foods containing mixtures of saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids; some foods have more than one kind than another.
Trans fats appear in highly processed foods. Therefore, they are a euphemism for snack and other foods containing them.
As for saturated fats: the Dietary Guidelines give their main sources:
The guidelines use two layers of euphemisms.
- Saturated fat is a euphemism for meat and dairy foods; these have higher proportions of saturated fatty acids.
- “Mixed dishes” and “protein foods” are also euphemisms for meat and dairy foods.
But saying so is politically impossible.
Do comment on the WHO guidelines. It may help clarify the recommendations.