Health significance of fat quality in the diet

Ann Nutr Metab. 2013;63(1-2):96-102. doi: 10.1159/000353207. Epub 2013 Aug 14.


This paper summarizes three presentations on the global and Latin American perspectives on the health significance of fat quality in the diet given at the 16th Congress of the Society of Latin American Nutrition in Havana, Cuba, November 11-16, 2012. Dietary fat quality contributes to the risk of the leading chronic diseases and is more important than fat quantity in reducing the risk of chronic disease mortality, especially from cardiovascular disease (CVD). In many countries, the consumption of saturated fats exceeds the recommended limit of 10% energy (%E) and intakes of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are often below the recommended range of 6-11%E. Consumption of long-chain ω-3 PUFAs is especially low. In many Latin American countries, high consumption of carbohydrates, especially sugars, contributes to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and CVD, while intakes of total fat and PUFAs may be low. Thus, dietary fat recommendations must consider the dietary fat patterns of each country. Nutrition counseling can be effective in teaching individuals and families to modify their food intake patterns and control the major risk factors for chronic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Chronic Disease
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Counseling
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Diet / standards*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • Nutritional Status
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Factors


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3