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Monday, May 30, 2016
Saturated Fats, Trans Fats, and Cholesterol
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Healthy intake: Intake of saturated fats should be limited to less than 10 percent of calories per day by replacing them with unsaturated fats and while keeping total dietary fats within the age-appropriate AMDR. The human body uses some saturated fats for physiological and structural functions, but it makes more than enough to meet those needs. Individuals 2 years and older therefore have no dietary requirement for saturated fats.
Strong and consistent evidence shows that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, is associated with reduced blood levels of total cholesterol and of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol). Additionally, strong and consistent evidence shows that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats is associated with a reduced risk of CVD events (heart attacks) and CVD-related deaths.
Some evidence has shown that replacing saturated fats with plant sources of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil and nuts, may be associated with a reduced risk of CVD. However, the evidence base for monounsaturated fats is not as strong as the evidence base for replacement with polyunsaturated fats. Evidence has also shown that replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates reduces blood levels of total and LDL-cholesterol, but increases blood levels of triglycerides and reduces high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol). Replacing total fat or saturated fats with carbohydrates is not associated with reduced risk of CVD. Additional research is needed to determine whether this relationship is consistent across categories of carbohydrates (e.g., whole versus refined grains; intrinsic versus added sugars), as they may have different associations with various health outcomes. Therefore, saturated fats in the diet should be replaced with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Considerations: As discussed in Chapter 2, the main sources of saturated fats in the U.S. diet include mixed dishes containing cheese, meat, or both, such as burgers, sandwiches, and tacos; pizza; rice, pasta, and grain dishes; and meat, poultry, and seafood dishes. Although some saturated fats are inherent in foods, others are added. Healthy eating patterns can accommodate nutrient-dense foods with small amounts of saturated fats, as long as calories from saturated fats do not exceed 10 percent per day, intake of total fats remains within the AMDR, and total calorie intake remains within limits. When possible, foods high in saturated fats should be replaced with foods high in unsaturated fats, and other choices to reduce solid fats should be made (see Chapter 2).
Individuals should limit intake of trans fats to as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils in margarines, and by limiting other solid fats. A number of studies have observed an association between increased intake oftrans fats and increased risk of CVD. This increased risk is due, in part, to its LDL-cholesterol-raising effect.
Trans fats occur naturally in some foods and also are produced in a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is used by food manufacturers to make products containing unsaturated fatty acids solid at room temperature (i.e., more saturated) and therefore more resistant to becoming spoiled or rancid. Partial hydrogenation means that some, but not all, unsaturated fatty acids are converted to saturated fatty acids; some of the unsaturated fatty acids are changed from a cis to transconfiguration. Trans fatty acids produced this way are referred to as “artificial” or “industrially produced” trans fatty acids. Artificial trans fatty acids are found in the partially hydrogenated oilsused in some margarines, snack foods, and prepared desserts as a replacement for saturated fatty acids. Although food manufacturers and restaurants have reduced the amounts of artificial transfats in many foods in recent years, these fats can still be found in some processed foods, such as some desserts, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, margarines, and coffee creamers.
Naturally occurring trans fats, known as “natural” or “ruminant” trans fats, are produced by ruminant animals. Natural trans fats are present in small quantities in dairy products and meats, and consuming fat-free or low-fat dairy products and lean meats and poultry will reduce the intake of natural trans fats from these foods. Because natural trans fats are present in dairy products and meats in only small quantities and these foods can be important sources of nutrients, these foods do not need to be eliminated from the diet.
Alcohol is not a component of the USDA Food Patterns. The Dietary Guidelines does not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason. If alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age. There are also many circumstances in which individuals should not drink, such as during pregnancy. For the purposes of evaluating amounts of alcohol that may be consumed, the Dietary Guidelines includes drink-equivalents. One alcoholic drink-equivalent is described as containing 14 g (0.6 fl oz) of pure alcohol. The following are reference beverages that are one alcoholic drink-equivalent: 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol), 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol), or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol). The amount of alcohol and calories in beverages varies and should be accounted for within the limits of healthy eating patterns so that calorie limits are not exceeded. See Appendix 9. Alcohol for additional information.
Caffeine is not a nutrient; it is a dietary component that functions in the body as a stimulant. Caffeine occurs naturally in plants (e.g., coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, kola nuts). It also is added to foods and beverages (e.g., caffeinated soda, energy drinks). If caffeine is added to a food, it must be included in the listing of ingredients on the food label. Most intake of caffeine in the United States comes from coffee, tea, and soda. Caffeinated beverages vary widely in their caffeine content. Caffeinated coffee beverages include drip/brewed coffee (12 mg/fl oz), instant coffee (8 mg/fl oz), espresso (64 mg/fl oz), and specialty beverages made from coffee or espresso, such as cappuccinos and lattes. Amounts of caffeine in other beverages such as brewed black tea (6 mg/fl oz), brewed green tea (2-5 mg/fl oz), and caffeinated soda (1-4 mg/fl oz) also vary. Beverages within the energy drinks category have the greatest variability (3-35 mg/fl oz).
Much of the available evidence on caffeine focuses on coffee intake. Moderate coffee consumption (three to five 8-oz cups/day or providing up to 400 mg/day of caffeine) can be incorporated into healthy eating patterns. This guidance on coffee is informed by strong and consistent evidence showing that, in healthy adults, moderate coffee consumption is not associated with an increased risk of major chronic diseases (e.g., cancer) or premature death, especially from CVD. However, individuals who do not consume caffeinated coffee or other caffeinated beverages are not encouraged to incorporate them into their eating pattern. Limited and mixed evidence is available from randomized controlled trials examining the relationship between those energy drinks which have high caffeine content and cardiovascular risk factors and other health outcomes. In addition, caffeinated beverages, such as some sodas or energy drinks, may include calories from added sugars, and although coffee itself has minimal calories, coffee beverages often contain added calories from cream, whole or 2% milk, creamer, and added sugars, which should be limited. The same considerations apply to calories added to tea or other similar beverages.
Those who choose to drink alcohol should be cautious about mixing caffeine and alcohol together or consuming them at the same time; see Appendix 9. Alcohol for additional discussion. In addition, women who are capable of becoming pregnant or who are trying to, or who are pregnant, and those who are breastfeeding should consult their health care providers for advice concerning caffeine consumption.
 It is not recommended that individuals begin drinking or drink more for any reason. The amount of alcohol and calories in beverages varies and should be accounted for within the limits of healthy eating patterns. Alcohol should be consumed only by adults of legal drinking age. There are many circumstances in which individuals should not drink, such as during pregnancy. See Appendix 6. Alcohol for additional information.
 Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC). Weight gain during pregnancy: Reexamining the guidelines. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press; 2009.
 Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Apovian CM, Ard JD, Comuzzie AG, Donato KA, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(25 Pt B):2985-3023. PMID: 24239920. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24239920.
 Definitions for each food group and subgroup are provided throughout the chapter and are compiled in Appendix 3.
 Products that bear the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) health claim for whole grains have at least 51 percent of the total ingredients by weight as whole-grain ingredients; they also meet other criteria.
 Foods that meet the whole grain-rich criteria for the school meal programs contain 100 percent whole grain or a blend of whole-grain meal and/or flour and enriched meal and/or flour of which at least 50 percent is whole grain. The remaining 50 percent or less of grains, if any, must be enriched.http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/WholeGrainResource.pdf. Accessed October 22, 2015.
 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide joint guidance regarding seafood consumption for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and young children. For more information, see the FDA and EPA websites www.FDA.gov/fishadvice; www.EPA.gov/fishadvice.
 The term “fats” rather than “fatty acids” is generally used in this document when discussing categories of fatty acids (e.g., unsaturated, saturated, trans) for consistency with the Nutrition Facts label and other Federal materials.
 It is not recommended that individuals begin drinking or drink more for any reason. The amount of alcohol and calories in beverages varies and should be accounted for within the limits of healthy eating patterns. Alcohol should be consumed only by adults of legal drinking age. There are many circumstances in which individuals should not drink, such as during pregnancy. See Appendix 9. Alcohol for additional information.
 For more information, see: FDA. High-Intensity Sweeteners. May 19, 2014. [Updated November 5, 2014.] Available at:http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm397716.htm. Accessed October 19, 2015. This page provides a link to “Additional Information about High-Intensity Sweeteners Permitted for use in Food in the United States” which includes more information on types and uses of high-intensity sweeteners and the scientific evidence evaluated by the FDA for safety for the general population.
 Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press; 2002.
 The IOM set an Adequate Intake (AI) level for sodium to meet the sodium needs of healthy and moderately active individuals. Because of increased loss of sodium from sweat, the AI does not apply to highly active individuals and workers exposed to extreme heat stress, estimated to be less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press; 2005.
 Bowman SA, Clemens JC, Friday JE, Thoerig RC, and Moshfegh AJ. 2014. Food Patterns Equivalents Database 2011-12: Methodology and User Guide [Online]. Food Surveys Research Group, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland. Available at:http://www.ars.usda.gov/nea/bhnrc/fsrg. Accessed November 3, 2015. For additional information, see the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) webpage available at: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/.
 Drink-equivalents are not intended to serve as a standard drink definition for regulatory purposes.
 Some dietary supplements such as energy shots also contain caffeine, but the amount of caffeine in these products is not required to be disclosed.