The International Food Information Council (IFIC) has released new online resources on fats, aiming to tackle consumer confusion and misperceptions about fat consumption, the organization said.
IFIC is a non-profit organization backed by the food and agriculture industries, with the stated aim of “effectively communicating science-based information on health, food safety and nutrition for the public good.”
In a survey conducted in April, it found that 71% of US consumers were trying to limit some kind of fat in their diet – but about 20% of Americans said they were trying to limit monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are thought to be generally under consumed in the United States.
In a video entitled “Facts on Fat” – part of its online resources – registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix said: “The healthy fats are the ones that are in almonds, avocados and oils. Those are fats that should be added to the diet on a regular basis because they make food taste so good and give food their creamy texture and great taste, but proceed with caution with portion sizes, especially if you’re watching your weight.”
The organization also aims to tackle some of the controversy around proportions of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in dietary guidelines.
Director of the Cardiovascular Health Research Center at the Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Dr. Bill Harris said: “Some people think omega-6 fatty acids should be avoided because they’re inflammatory, which actually is not true. Some metabolites of omega-6s are inflammatory and some are anti-inflammatory. The problem, however, is not the prevalence of omega-6 in the American diet; it’s the lack of omega-3s, which are less inflammatory.”
Also speaking in the IFIC “Facts on Fat” video, Dr. Eric Decker, professor of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, highlights the importance of dietary fats to enhance the bioavailability of lipid components and fat-soluble vitamins.