Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: dietary fatty acids

J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Sep;107(9):1599-611.


It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and Dietitians of Canada (DC) that dietary fat for the adult population should provide 20% to 35% of energy and emphasize a reduction in saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids and an increase in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. ADA and DC recommend a food-based approach for achieving these fatty acid recommendations; that is, a dietary pattern high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean protein (ie, lean meats, poultry, and low-fat dairy products), fish (especially fatty fish high in n-3 fatty acids), and use of nonhydrogenated margarines and oils. Implicit to these recommendations for dietary fatty acids is that unsaturated fatty acids are the predominant fat source in the diet. These fatty acid recommendations are made in the context of a diet consistent with energy needs (ie, to promote a healthful body weight). ADA and DC recognize that scientific knowledge about the effects of dietary fats on human health is incomplete and take a prudent approach in recommending a reduction in those fatty acids that increase risk of disease, while promoting intake of those fatty acids that benefit health. Registered dietitians play a pivotal role in translating dietary recommendations for fat and fatty acids into healthful dietary patterns for different population groups.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Dietetics*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Food Analysis
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Nutritional Requirements*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Societies
  • United States


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids