HealthDay News — Although Americans have cut their intake of saturated and trans fats over the last three decades, their current consumption levels of dietary fats are still too high, results of a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association indicate.

Current dietary guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend that Americans intake of saturated fatty acid intake should be restricted to 5% to 6% of total energy intake and trans fatty acid intake should be restricted to less than 1%.

“Data available to evaluate trends in fatty acid intake in the U.S. population are limited, particularly with regard to trans fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA),” noted Mary Ann Honors, PhD, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues.

To evaluate American’s consumption of dietary fats, the investigators reviewed survey data from 12,526 patients, aged 25 to 74 years, who lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Trans fat intake dropped by one-third in men and women over the 30-year study period. However, male patients still reported consuming 1.9% of calories from trans fat, while female patients reported consuming about 1.7%. Saturated fat intake dropped as well, but still accounted for nearly 11% of daily caloric intake for both men and women during 2007 to 2009.

Both male and female survey respondents reported consuming 0.08 grams of omega-3 fats per day, well below the AHA’s recommended 0.25 grams per day.

“Additional public health strategies are needed to promote recommended intakes of dietary fats,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Honors MA et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 2014; doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001023