Timeline of dietary fat-phobic recommendations by the American Heart Association

January 25, 2021

The American Heart Association has long since been a source of anti-dietary fat ideology. Many still hold on to the claims the AHA has made, and faithfully fail to attribute the negative effects of these guidelines to the flawed system that created them. In any case, I’m interested in knowing how it went down, and this is what I found.

Bonus! Early example of expert truster propaganda:

I found more of those, including the animated cartoon, so I’ll post a blog on that later on. Now, the timeline…

1957

  • 25-30% of calories from total fat.
  • “The possibility remains that the kind, rather than the amount of fat in the diet is responsible for atherosclerosis.”

1961

  • 25-35% of calories from total fat.
  • Substitute vegetable oils and poly-unsaturated fatty acids for saturated fatty acids.

1965

  • Eat less saturated fat
  • Increase intake of unsaturated vegetable oils and other poly-unsaturated fatty acids, substituting them for saturated fat wherever possible.

1968

  • Decrease saturated fat, increase poly-unsaturated fats.
  • <40% of calories from total fat.
  • “Poly-unsaturated fatty acids should probably comprise twice the quantity of saturated fatty acids”

1973

  • ≤35% calories from total fat.
  • Of that ≤35%, ≤10% from saturated fat, ≤10% from poly-unsaturated fat, remainder from mono-unsaturated fat.
  • “…fat calories should be distributed throughout each day . . . a massive high saturated fat meal is inappropriate at any time”

1978

  • 30-35% of calories from total fat.
  • <10% from saturated fat, ≤ from poly-unsaturated fat, remainder from mono-unsaturated fat.

1982, 1986, 1988

  • <30% of calories from total fat (1982: 30-35%)
  • <10% of calories from saturated fat.
  • ≤10% of calories from poly-unsaturated fat.

1993

  • <30% of calories from total fat.
  • <10% of calories from saturated fat.
  • ≤10% of calories from poly-unsaturated fat.
  • “Widespread consumption of very-low-fat diets not justified by current evidence.”

1996

  • <30% of calories from total fat.
  • 8-10% of calories from saturated fat.
  • ≤10% of calories from poly-unsaturated fat.
  • ≤15% of calories from mono-unsaturated fat.

2000

  • ≤30% of calories from total fat.
  • <10% calories from saturated fat.
  • Limit intake of trans-fatty acids.
  • Very-low-fat (<15% of calories) diets not recommended for the general population.

2006

  • 25-35% of calories from fat is appropriate in a healthy dietary pattern.
  • <7% of calories from saturated fat. Replace with MUFA and PUFA.
  • <1% of calories from trans fatty acids.

2013

  • Advise adults who would benefit from lowering LDL cholesterol to aim for a healthy dietary pattern (fruits/ veggies/ fish/ chicken, in their opinion) that achieves 5-6% of calories from saturated fat. Replace with MUFA and PUFA.
  • Reduce % of calories from trans fats.

2014

Still hanging on, but with modern graphic design.

2017

AHA President has a literal heart attack and went into cardiac arrest during a conference on… you’ll never guess… heart disease. The American Heart Association has been permanently discredited. No one under the age of 50 believes anything they have to say.

It’s over, folks. Also:

Sources, timeline: heart.org





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