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WHO updates guidelines on fat and carb consumption

Geneva, Jul 17 (Prensa Latina) The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday updated its guidance on total fat, saturated and trans-fat and carbohydrates, based on the latest scientific evidence.

The three new guidelines, Saturated fatty acid and trans-fatty acid intake for adults and children, Total fat intake for the prevention of unhealthy weight gain in adults and children, and Carbohydrate intake for adults and children, contain recommendations that aim to reduce the risk of unhealthy weight gain and diet-related noncommunicable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

WHO reaffirms that adults should limit total fat intake to 30% of total energy intake or less.

Fat consumed by everyone 2 years of age and older should be primarily unsaturated fatty acids, with no more than 10% of total energy intake coming from saturated fatty acids and no more than 1% of total energy intake from trans-fatty acids from both industrially produced and ruminant animal sources.

Saturated and trans-fatty acids in the diet can be replaced with other nutrients such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids from plant sources, or carbohydrates from foods containing naturally occurring dietary fibre, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and pulses.

Saturated fatty acids can be found in fatty meat, dairy foods, and hard fats and oils such as butter, ghee, lard, palm oil and coconut oil and trans-fatty acids in baked and fried foods, pre-packaged snacks, and meat and dairy foods from ruminant animals, such as cows or sheep.

WHO recommends that adults consume at least 400 grams of vegetables and fruits and 25 grams of naturally occurring dietary fibre per day.

WHO suggests children ged 2-5 years should consume at least 250 g per day, 350 g per day for those aged 6-9 years, and 400 g per day for those aged 10 years or older.