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Sources of Selected Fatty Acids among the US Population, 2005–06


The purpose of this research was to identify the contributions of various foods to intake of selected fatty acids in the US population age 2 years and older.

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We used the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine the contribution of specific foods to intake of selected fatty acids. The dietary intake data collected in the survey were catalogued according to discrete food codes. For this analysis, food codes representing similar foods -- such as the various types of pasta dishes -- were combined to provide an indication of the contribution of distinct food items to intake of the nutrients being studied. That is, the codes were sorted into 96 mutually exclusive food categories, termed specific foods.

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There are separate tables for each of the following selected fatty acids:

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It is worth noting that the foods that are the richest sources of a nutrient are not necessarily the major contributors. Because some foods are commonly consumed in the population they result in a significant contribution to the total intake of a nutrient.

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Key Findings

The top source of omega-3 fatty acids was salad dressing, while the top source of DHA and EPA was other fish and fish mixed dishes.

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Suggested Citation

Suggested citation for information contained on this page:

Sources of Selected Fatty Acids among the US Population, 2005–06. Applied Research Program Web site. National Cancer Institute. Updated April 11, 2014. Accessed February 8, 2016.

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Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014