Intended for healthcare professionals


US nutritionists call for dietary guideline limits on saturated fat intake to be lifted

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 29 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4226
  1. Maryanne Demasi
  1. Sydney, Australia

Leading nutrition scientists have called for an urgent rethink of the 2020 US dietary guidelines, to be published at the end of this year.

In a letter to Congress, nutrition researchers and former members of the dietary guideline advisory committee (DGAC) have urged the departments of health and human services and agriculture to give “serious and immediate consideration” to lifting the cap placed on saturated fat intake.

The letter concludes that “there is no strong scientific evidence that the current population-wide upper limits on commonly consumed saturated fats in the US will prevent cardiovascular disease or reduce mortality. A continued limit on these fats is not justified.”

The conclusion runs counter to the prevailing view that consuming saturated fat raises low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increases …

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