RDA: Recommended Dietary Allowance for fats.

RDA for Fat

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

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

According to the book TheYale 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 fattyacid 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 thatyour body can’t produce and that you must get from your diet. Of these, linoleic acid isthe most important. Found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, this polyunsaturated fat isimportant for growth and development as well as the production of hormonelike substancesthat regulate blood pressure."

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