High Fat and Low Fat Diets

High Fat and Low Fat Diets 

  • The recommended total fat intake is between 25-35% of the total calories for adults. Fat intakes that exceed 35% of the total calories are generally associated with increased intakes of both saturated fat and calories. Conversely, a low intake of fats and oils increase the risk of inadequate intakes of vitamin E, of essential fatty acids, and reduced HDL-C (high density lipoprotein cholesterol) levels.1 
  • The type of fat intake should predominantly come from sources of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Up to 20% of the calories from MUFA is permissible but the PUFA intake should be <10% of the calories and the saturated fat intake should be <7% of the calories.
  • Not enough data is available to make a recommendation regarding the optimal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.2
  • When consumed in large doses >2g/d, the effect of n-3 PUFA ion LDL-C is either neutral or slight increase.3


1. Catapano AL, Reiner Z, De Backer G, et al. ESC/EAS Guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemias The Task Force for the management of dyslipidaemias of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS). Atherosclerosis. Jul 2011;217 Suppl 1:1-44.

2. Harris WS, Mozaffarian D, Rimm E, et al. Omega-6 fatty acids and risk for cardiovascular disease: a science advisory from the American Heart Association Nutrition Subcommittee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Circulation. Feb 17 2009;119(6):902-907.

3. Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. May 2003;77(5):1146-1155.

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