Fat Consumption

Fat Consumption

Some studies suggest that high-fat diets or high intakes of different types of fat in the diet may be linked to several cancers, including colon, lung, and postmenopausal breast cancer, as well as heart disease and other chronic diseases.

More research is needed to better understand which types of fat should be avoided and how much of each type alters cancer risk. Although monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids have been studied for a number of years, their effects are still unclear. More recent research on the effects of trans fatty acids also has yet to reach definitive conclusions.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend getting less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and keeping trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible for general health and the prevention of chronic disease, including cancer and heart disease. The guidelines also recommend keeping total fat intake between 20 and 35 percent of calories for adults, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

Intakes of total fat, and of the major fatty acids - saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated - as a percentage of total calories.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Food Surveys Research Group (Beltsville, MD). Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals 1989-1991, 1994-96, 1998.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The Cancer Trends Progress Report uses NHANES data through 2017-2018. The 2019-2020 cycle was not completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available at NHANES Questionnaires, Datasets, and Related Documentation.

  • Reduce the consumption of saturated fat by persons aged 2 years and over to 8.4 percent of calories consumed.

Healthy People 2030 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Note: Goals are indicated as blue line on Detailed Trend Graphs.

Non-Significant Change
Diet and Alcohol