How important is the relative balance of fat and carbohydrate as sources of energy in relation to health?

Thomas A B Sanders*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)
    266 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Both the intake of fat, especially saturated trans fatty acids, and refined carbohydrates, particularly sugar, have been linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes and CVD. Dietary guidelines are generally similar throughout the world, restrict both intake of SFA and added sugar to no more than 10 and 35 % energy for total fat and recommend 50 % energy from carbohydrates being derived from unrefined cereals, tubers, fruit and vegetables. Current evidence favours partial replacement of SFA with PUFA with regard to risk of CVD. The translation of these macronutrient targets into food-based dietary guidelines is more complex because some high-fat foods play an important part in meeting nutrient requirements as well as influencing the risk of chronic disease. Some of the recent controversies surrounding the significance of sugar and the type of fat in the diet are discussed. Finally, data from a recently published randomised controlled trial are presented to show the impact of following current dietary guidelines on cardiovascular risk and nutrient intake compared with a traditional UK diet.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProceedings of the Nutrition Society
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Nov 2015

    Keywords

    • Carbohydrates
    • Dietary guidelines
    • Fat
    • Sugar
    • Type 2 diabetes

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