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Diet - Fat and Carbohydrates
US Dietary Guidelines for Fat and Carbs
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USDA Dietary Guidelines - Fat & Carbohydrates

USDA Dietary Guidelines - Calorie Intake
USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans 2 years and over choose a diet moderate in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. The 1990 Dietary Guidelines were the first to set numerical goals: total fat consumption should be limited to 30 percent or less of total calorie intake, and saturated fat intake should be limited to less than 10 percent of total calorie intake. In addition to reducing the risk for chronic diseases, a diet low in total fat makes it easier to consume the variety of foods, such as fruits and vegetables, needed to provide essential nutrients without exceeding caloric needs.

USDA Dietary Guidelines - Total Calorie Increase
Fat consumption in both men and women decreased between 1965 and 1990. The percent of calories from fat continued to decrease between 1990 and 1995 even as the daily grams of fat intake remained steady or increased. The explanation for this apparent paradox is that although daily fat consumption was increasing or remaining unchanged, the total caloric intake was increasing at a relatively faster pace. For example, there was a 13 percent increase in fat consumption among men 19 to 50 years old between 1990 and 1995, but a 21 percent increase in total caloric intake over the same period. A higher number of calories consumed will reduce the calculated percentage of calories from fat even when there is no decrease in total fat consumption.

USDA Dietary Guidelines - Carbohydrates
The recent increase in caloric intake comes largely from increased carbohydrate consumption, and to a lesser extent, increased alcohol consumption. Analysis of food consumption data reveals that increased consumption of grain products, certain soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages has contributed to the overall reported increase in calorie intake.

USDA Dietary Guidelines Conclusion
Total fat consumption expressed as a percent of caloric intake has steadily decreased since 1965. However, in the past 5 years, the decrease in percent of calories from fat is a result of increased total calorie intake and not necessarily due to decreased fat consumption. The daily fat intake in grams has, in fact, increased in many cases, reversing the trend of Americans consuming less fat in their diet as was reported earlier.

Source: Publication of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

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