1The development of food-based dietary guidelines for prevention of cardiovascular diseases requires knowledge of the contribution of common foods to SFA and PUFA intake. We systematically reviewed available data from European countries on population intakes and dietary sources of total fat, SFA, and PUFA. Data from national dietary surveys or population studies published >1995 were searched through Medline, Web of Science, and websites of national public health institutes. Mean population intakes were compared with FAO/WHO dietary recommendations, and contributions of major food groups to overall intakes of fat and fatty acids were calculated. Fatty acid intake data from 24 European countries were included. Reported mean intakes ranged from 28.5 to 46.2% of total energy (%E) for total fat, from 8.9 to 15.5%E for SFA, from 3.9 to 11.3%E for PUFA. The mean intakes met the recommendation for total fat (20-35%E) in 15 countries, and for SFA (<10%E) in two countries, and for PUFA (6-11%E) in 15 of the 24 countries. The main three dietary sources of total fat and SFA were dairy, added fats and oils, and meat and meat products. The majority of PUFA in the diet was provided by added fats and oils, followed by cereals and cereal products, and meat and meat products. Practical applications: While many European countries meet the recommended intake levels for total fat and PUFA, a large majority of European population exceeds the widely recommended maximum 10%E for SFA. In particular animal based products, such as dairy, animal fats, and fatty meat contribute to SFA intake. Adhering to food-based dietary guidelines for prevention of CHD and other chronic diseases in Europe, including eating less fatty meats, low-fat instead of full-fat dairy, and more vegetable fats and oils will help to reduce SFA intake and at the same time increase PUFA intake. In European countries, SFA intakes are generally higher than the recommended <10%E and PUFA intakes lower than the recommended 6-11%E. Adhering to food-based dietary guidelines for prevention of CHD and other chronic diseases including eating leaner variants of meat and dairy, and more vegetable fats and oils will help to decrease SFA intake and increase PUFA intake.
Keywords: Adults; Dietary fat; Europe; PUFA; SFA.