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Nutrition Noteworthy

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The Failure of the Fat Avoidance Diet


The dominant dietary advice at present in the US of fat avoidance arose from a need to decrease serum cholesterol levels in order to decrease coronary heart disease. During the past 40 years, this dietary approach has been adopted by the US population with a resultant decrease in both cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease mortality. However, the decrease in dietary fat has failed to prevent the increase in the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Given the impact of obesity on the health of the US population today, a need to modify dietary advice is warranted. Although dietary fat ought to remain low, other dietary changes are needed because simply reducing dietary fat has demonstrated itself to be ineffective in protecting the health of the US population. A proportional increase in mono and polyunsaturated fats relative to saturated fats, an increase in the consumption of foods with a low glycemic index and a low energy density, and an increase in physical activity should become the focal points of dietary advice.

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