A new viewpoint published in JAMA is urging that U.S. government agencies lift restrictions on total dietary fat consumption in the forthcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans based on current scientific and medical literature.

In February, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) submitted recommendations to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For the first time since 1980, the DGAC did not propose restrictions on total fat consumption; the current guidelines recommend that 20–35% of daily calories should come from dietary fat sources. The DGAC also did not recommend that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300mg/day after finding a lack of evidence linking dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.

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The JAMA viewpoint by Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, and David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, support the lifting of this restriction with support from research on the health benefits associated with unsaturated fats from nuts, fish, and various oils. They also call for the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels to be revised by removing total fat and dietary cholesterol from the listed nutrients and adding refined grains and added sugar. Drs. Mozaffarian and Ludwig report that this could help in promoting a well-balanced diet low in refined gains that are a major source of calories in the U.S. food supply.

The USDA and HHS will approve the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the end of the year using the DGAC report for guidance.

For more information visit JAMANetwork.com.