Trans Fat Consumption Still Exceeds AHA Recommendations

November 3, 2014
Eileen Oldfield Associate Editor

Although trans fat intake has dropped over the past 30 years, most American adults still consume more than the amount recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).

Although trans fat intake has dropped over the past 30 years, most American adults still consume more than the amount recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).

According to research published on October 22, 2014, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, trans fat consumption has declined by 32% among men and 35% among women in the last 3 decades. However, trans fats still comprised roughly 1.9% of men’s total daily calories and about 1.7% of women’s, even though the AHA recommends limiting trans fats to no more than 1% of all calories consumed.

Similarly, saturated fats still account for 11.4% of daily calories among men and women, which exceeds the 5% to 6% range recommended by the AHA.

“There’s a downward trend in trans and saturated fat intake levels, but it’s clear that we still have room for improvement,” said lead study author Mary Ann Honors, PhD, in a press release. “To make your diet more in line with the recommendations, use the nutritional panel on food labels to choose foods with little or no trans fasts.”

In reviewing the results from more than 12,000 adults aged 25 to 74 years who participated in the Minnesota Heart Survey in 1980-2009, the researchers also found that omega-3 fatty acid intake has not changed significantly over the past 30 years, despite the suggestions that greater consumption of those fatty acids may improve cardiovascular disease risk by lowering the odds of abnormal heartbeat, cutting triglyceride levels, and improving blood pressure.