Dietary fat reduction strategies

L. M. Smith-Schneider, M. J. Sigman-Grant, Penny Margaret Kris-Etherton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this study, we used computer modeling to identify which techniques designed to achieve dietary fat reduction were the most effective in meeting the dietary recommendations of the American Heart Association Step-One diet. Menus were developed for men and nonpregnant, nonlactating women, 25 to 50 years old, according to the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (with 36% and 37% of energy from fat for men and women respectively). The menus were modified realistically using the Minnesota Nutrition Data System. The following five strategies were applied: skim milk replaced whole milk and 2%-fat milk (SKM); medium-fat meat exchanges replaced higher-fat ones (MMtEx); lean meat exchanges replaced higher-fat ones (LMtEx); fat-modified products were used (FMP); and 2%-fat milk replaced whole milk (LFM). For men, strategies LMtEx, SKM + LMtEx, SKM + LMtEx + FMP, LMtEx + FMP, LMtEx + FMP + LFM, and LMtEx + LFM reduced energy by 195 to 415 kcal and achieved the targeted level of energy from fat (≤30±1%) and cholesterol (<300 mg) while maintaining 67% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowances for other nutrients. For women, however, no single strategy achieved the goal. Certain combinations of strategies, SKM + LMtEx, SKM + FMP, SKM + MMtEx + FMP, reduced energy by 150 to 268 kcal and achieved the targeted dietary fat and cholesterol goals while maintaining 67% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowances for other nutrients. All strategies led to a reduction in both saturated fatty acids (to 9% to 10% of energy) and monounsaturated fatty acids. When skim milk, lean meat exchanges, and fat-modified foods all were substituted in both men's and women's diets, saturated fatty acids decreased further (to approximately 8% of energy). These results demonstrate that several different approaches can be used to achieve the recommended dietary goals. Flexibility in food choices provides options for individuals who choose to decrease their intake of total fat, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-38
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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