The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its dietary guidelines concerning total fat, saturated and trans-fat, and carbohydrates, with the aim of lowering the risk of obesity and diseases like type 2 diabetes. These revised guidelines, titled ‘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,’ are based on the latest scientific evidence.
On July 17th, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement announcing its updated dietary guidelines aimed at reducing the risk of unhealthy weight gain and noncommunicable diet-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. These recommendations benefit both adults and children and focus on lowering the chances of unhealthy weight gain and the development of such diseases.
Quantity and Quality
With its guidance on dietary fat, WHO guidelines notes that both quantity and quality are important for good health. It also recommended limiting total fat intake to 30 per cent or less of total energy intake, with the majority of fat consumed being unsaturated fatty acids. Meanwhile, the WHO recommends limiting saturated and trans-fatty acids to no more than 10 percent and 1 percent of total energy intake, respectively, from both industrially produced and ruminant animal sources.
Additionally, the WHO guidelines explained that fatty meat, dairy foods, and hard fats and oils like butter and coconut oil contain saturated fatty acids, while baked and fried foods, pre-packaged snacks, and meat and dairy products from ruminant animals contain trans-fatty acids.
To promote good health, WHO advised replacing saturated and trans-fatty acids with nutrients like polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids from plant sources, or carbohydrates from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and pulses.
The new guidelines also emphasise the importance of carbohydrate quality. As per WHO, carbohydrate intake for everyone aged 2 years and older should mainly come from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and pulses. Additionally, adults should consume at least 400 grams of vegetables and fruits and 25 grams of dietary fibre per day.