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Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and is attributable to atherosclerosis. Evidence on saturated fat intake over the past few decades has been conflicting, confusing and highly debated. The purpose of the Academy’s saturated fat evidence-based nutrition practice guideline is to provide recommendations on saturated fat intake to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease.
The guideline includes recommendations, supporting evidence, benefits and harms, and tips to aid in implementation of the recommendations in daily practice. The guideline covers saturated fat amount, replacement nutrients and sources of saturated fat. Moderate-certainty evidence supports individualized reduction of saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake for cardiovascular disease event reduction; low-to-moderate-certainty evidence supports replacement of SFAs with polyunsaturated fatty acids; and low-certainty evidence supports focusing on reducing the total amount of SFA, rather than specific food sources of SFA.
Nutrition and dietetics practitioners should consider their patients’ and clients’ individual preferences; principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and access; and potential nutritional deficiencies that may occur with reduced SFA intake. The guideline also includes a one-page, easy-to-use practitioner guide that includes recommendations and implementation tips. Future research is needed to address gaps that were identified and provide high-quality evidence to support stronger future recommendations based on the relationship between SFA and CVD.
Read the full "Saturated Fat Intake and the Prevention and Management of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults: An Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guideline” article published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and view the Saturated Fat 2023 Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guideline on the Academy's Evidence Analysis Library.

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