The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued strict guidelines in relation to the amount of saturated fat that should be contained in a healthy diet.

It said adults and children should consume a maximum of 10% of their daily calories in the form of saturated fat, such as meat and butter and 1% from trans fats – often found in baked and fried foods – to reduce the risk of heart disease.

It said excessive amounts of saturated fat and trans fat should be replaced by polyunsaturated fats, such as fish, canola and olive oils.

“Reduced intake of saturated fatty acids have been associated with a significant reduction in risk of coronary heart disease when replaced with polyunsaturated fatty acids or carbohydrates from whole grains,” it said.

Its draft recommendations are aimed at reducing non-communicable diseases, led by cardiovascular diseases, blamed for 72 %t of the 54.7m estimated deaths worldwide every year, many before the age of 70.

Dr. Francesco Branca, director of the WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, said: “Dietary saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are of particular concern because high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.”

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By GlobalData

The agency has invited public comments until 1 June on its recommendations, which it expects to finalise by year-end.

The WHO’s draft advice largely matches similar nutritional guidelines in Britain and the US.

Back in 2015 it provided similar guidelines on sugar intake, It recommended adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake.