The public is doing a good job of shifting consumption of meat and milk to low-fat products, and now should turn to hidden fats, salad and cooking oils to limit fat in the diet, according to a representative of the American Dietetic Assn.
Rita Storey, a registered dietitian, said that choosing leaner meats and low-fat dairy foods has helped reduce fat in the American diet from 42% to 37% of total calories while preserving valuable sources of calcium and iron.
Fats from meats have been reduced 26% in recent years, according to research sponsored by the American Meat Institute. Similarly, whole-milk consumption has declined 50% while low-fat and skim-milk use has increased more than 300% from 1955 to 1983, U.S. Food and Drug Administration figures show.
"Salad and cooking oils, shortenings and hidden fats found in processed, packaged bread; cake and muffin mixes, crackers and cookies should be primary targets when consumers reduce fat in their diets because they don't contribute a significant amount of any nutrient," she said.