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Publication Abstract

Authors: Dixon LB, Ernst ND

Title: Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat: subtle changes to a familiar message.

Journal: J Nutr 131(2S-1):510S-526S

Date: 2001 Feb

Abstract: "Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat," issued in Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans in the year 2000, has an interesting and lengthy history. The first guideline, for which there was extensive scientific data to show that dietary excess increased chronic disease risk, prompted much scientific discussion and debate when implemented as dietary guidance. Three major changes in the guideline are noted since it was issued in 1980, i.e., numerical goals for dietary fats; the applicability of recommended fat intakes for all individuals > or =2 y old; and rewording to emphasize reducing saturated fat and cholesterol intakes. The shift in emphasis includes the terminology moderate fat, which replaces the phrasing low fat. National data about the food supply, the population's dietary intake, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, and nutritional status indicators (e.g., serum cholesterol levels) related to dietary fats help to monitor nutrition and health in the population. Experts consider that national data, although not without limitations, are sufficient to conclude that U.S. intakes of fats, as a proportion of energy, have decreased. The lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol are consistent with decreases in blood cholesterol levels and lower rates of coronary mortality over the past 30 years. Strategies are needed and some are suggested, to further encourage the population to achieve a dietary pattern that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat. Other suggestions are offered to improve national nutrition monitoring and surveillance related to the guideline.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013