On 1st August the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) published its final report on Saturated Fats and Health
5 key things you need to know:
- The saturated fat recommendation of no more than 10% of daily energy in the diet has not been looked at since 1994 and this recommendation has remained the same.
- Current saturated fat intakes are above the 10% level – currently 12.5%.
- Saturated fats are important because of their effect on cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary heart disease.
- There has been a large body of new scientific evidence published since 1994 globally including in the US, France, Netherland and Australia reviewing saturated fats and their impact on coronary vascular disease, type 2 diabetes risk, cognitive outcome and various cancers. The new evidence strengthens the case for the reduction in saturated fat intakes.
- Saturated fats should be substituted with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
So what does this mean for the food industry?
- Saturated fat intakes are still above recommended levels and should remain an important part of reformulation and calorie reduction programmes
- Need to look at new ways of reducing saturated fat levels – for example using oleogels and cryocrystalisation
- Need to consider the use of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as alternatives as UK consumers need to be eating less saturated fat and more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats; however consumers are confused about how to go about this and by incorporating these fats into products it makes it easier and more convenient for consumers, key attributes that consumers are looking for.