RDA for Fat

Surprisingly, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for fat. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research writes, "We know that as little as one tablespoon of vegetable oil a day provides our needs for essential fatty acids."

Joseph C. Piscatella agrees. Piscatella,  author of five widely acclaimed books on fat and diet and effective lecturer on the subject to health professionals and  hospitals, writes in his book Fat Proof Your Child, " Despite their awareness of its harmful effects, Americans eat too much fat. The problem then is dose-related. From a nutritional standpoint, the daily requirement for fat can be fully satisfied by consuming the equivalent of one tablespoon of vegetable oil. The average American, however, eats eight times that amount--between 800 and 1,000 calories, or about the equivalent of one stick of butter a day. It is estimated that the average family of four consumes 400 pounds of fat in a year!"

According to the book The Yale Guide to Children's Nutrition, William V. Tamborlane, M.D., Editor, polyunsaturated fats are essential in the diet because the body can not make them.

The authors write, "The major polyunsaturated fatty acids are linoleic and linolenic. Linoleic acid intake must be at least 2 percent of calories to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency."

The editors of Prevention Magazine also write in Food and Nutrition, "While there is no established RDA for fats, there are essential fatty acids that your body can't produce and that you must get from your diet. Of these, linoleic acid is the most important. Found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, this polyunsaturated fat is important for growth and development as well as the production of hormonelike substances that regulate blood pressure."

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