How much Fats and Carbs should your diet have?

How much Fats and Carbs should your diet have?

Healthcare News

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines about total fats and carbs that can be included in the diet for adults and children.

These guidelines are based on scientific thinking regarding the role of fats and carbohydrates in a healthy diet.

WHO has issued detailed guidelines for children, which can be helpful for parents to set their children on a healthy lifelong relationship with healthy eating and nutrition.

Essential highlights of the WHO Guideline for Adults:

Here is a list of important highlights regarding how much fat and carbohydrates we should have to maintain good health as per the latest WHO guideline.

  • On dietary fat, the WHO guideline states that quantity and quality are important for good health.   

  • The guideline recommends limiting fat consumption to 30% or less of the total calories consumed daily for adults. 

  • Consumption of foods rich in saturated fatty acids like dairy foods, fatty meat, and oils such as ghee, butter, palm oil, and coconut oil must be restricted.

  • Also, foods with trans-fatty acids found in pre-packaged snacks, baked and fried foods, dairy foods, and meat from ruminant animals, such as sheep or cows, must be restricted.

  • The fats consumed must primarily include unsaturated fatty acids, with less than 10% of total energy intake coming from saturated fatty acids and less than 1% of total energy intake from transfatty acids.

  • Saturated and trans-fatty acids in the diet can be replaced with other essential nutrients, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids from plant sources or carbohydrates from foods containing naturally occurring dietary fibre, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and pulses.

  • The new guideline emphasizes the importance of carbohydrate quality that we intake for good health.

  • As per the new guideline, dietary fibre, primarily from whole grains and fruits and vegetables, which have a protective cardiovascular effect, should be included in our diet.

  • The guidelines insist on consuming food rich in fibre with more complex carbs. Fibre found in foods like broccoli, bananas, apples, and avocados must be consumed and is considered healthy.

New recommendations for children

As per the WHO guideline, the fat and carbohydrate intake for children has been defined as below:

  • Children 2 to 5 years old should eat at least 250 grams of vegetables and fruits daily.

  • Children 6 to 9 years old should eat at least 350 grams of vegetables and fruits daily.

  • Children 10 or older should eat at least 400 grams of vegetables and fruits daily.

Similarly, the WHO now addresses children’s need for fibre. It has previously advised adults to consume 25 grams daily. 

  • Children 2 to 5 years old should consume at least 15 grams of fibre daily.

  • Children 6 to 9 years old should consume at least 21 grams of fibre daily.

  • Children 10 or older should consume at least 25 grams of fibre daily.

In a nutshell

A good diet with limited carbs and fat intake can help adults and children build and maintain good health. Implementing the new guideline on carbs and fat can help prevent the development of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even certain types of cancer and diabetes in adults. One must consult a nutritionist to get a tailor made diet that can help improve health and prevent diseases.

Further, teaching children healthy eating habits at early stages of life can help combat childhood obesity and build a healthy life for the children. The earlier we start having nutritional meals, the better it is.

Data Source: WHO updates guidelines on fats and carbohydrates