The Skinny on Fat: More of the Good, Less of the Bad

The Skinny on Fat: More of the Good, Less of the Bad

Posted on 21. Sep, 2016 by in In the News

Here’s the good news: Over the last three decades, we Americans have cut our intake of artery-clogging saturated and trans fats. The bad news? We’re still not consuming enough of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) found in fatty fish.

A recent report, which looked at surveys that polled more than 1,200 adults in the Minneapolis area, found that intake of trans fats (found in foods like baked goods and pizza) dropped by about one-third over the last three decades. Saturated fat intake dropped as well, but still accounted for about 11 percent of daily calories. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to about 5 or 6 percent of total calories.

“These trends are encouraging, but we still have room for improvement in our diet,” says Mary Ann Honors, a post-doctoral researcher fellow at the University of Minnesota.

Researchers also recommend more heart-healthy omega-3 fats. “The recommendation is 0.25 grams or 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA, two common omega-3s, per day,” says Honors. Between 2007 and 2009, both men and women consumed just 0.08 grams of DHA and 0.04 grams of EPA.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna) at least two times a week. Also look for a fish oil supplement that states right on the label that it’s guaranteed for purity and potency.

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