Fat is No Longer the Focus

Nutrition experts are hailing a federal decision to drop recommended restrictions on total fat consumption in the  2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Over the past decade, research has shown that a diet rich in healthy fats can be better for people, particularly if those fats help offset consumption of foods containing high levels of salt, sugar and refined grains, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston, wrote in a viewpoint article on the federal decision.

Low-fat diets have had unintended consequences, turning people away from healthy high-fat foods and toward foods rich in added sugars, starches and refined grains. This has helped fuel the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes in America, Mozaffarian said.

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Dropping restrictions on healthy fats will allow Americans to adopt eating habits like the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to improve heart health even though it includes high-fat items, Everett said.

Both Mozaffarian and his viewpoint co-author, Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, were supported in part by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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