As nutrition-related chronic diseases have become more and more frequent, the importance of dietary prevention has also increased. Dietary fat plays a major role in human nutrition, and modification of fat and/or fatty acid intake could have a preventive potential. The aim of the guideline of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) was to systematically evaluate the evidence for the prevention of the widespread diseases obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipoproteinaemia, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cancer through the intake of fat or fatty acids. The main results can be summarized as follows: it was concluded with convincing evidence that a reduced intake of total and saturated fat as well as a larger intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) at the expense of saturated fatty acids (SFA) reduces the concentration of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in plasma. Furthermore, there is convincing evidence that a high intake of trans fatty acids increases risk of dyslipoproteinaemia and that a high intake of long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids reduces the triglyceride concentration in plasma. A high fat intake increases the risk of obesity with probable evidence when total energy intake is not controlled for (ad libitum diet). When energy intake is controlled for, there is probable evidence for no association between fat intake and risk of obesity. A larger intake of PUFA at the expense of SFA reduces risk of CHD with probable evidence. Furthermore, there is probable evidence that a high intake of long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids reduces risk of hypertension and CHD. With probable evidence, a high trans fatty acid intake increases risk of CHD. The practical consequences for current dietary recommendations are described at the end of this article.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.