(San Diego, CA) April 25, 2014 – More research is needed to better understand the important role that dietary fats play in optimal health, said a panel of leading food and nutrition scientists Friday at an American Society for Nutrition (ASN) pre-annual meeting session.
More than 130 academic and industry food and nutrition scientists and registered dietitians attended the half-day ASN Satellite Symposium: Let's Chew the Fat: Current Thinking on Dietary Fats and the Food We Eat, held from 1-5 pm at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton in conjunction with the ASN's 78th Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting and Experimental Biology 2014. The symposium was sponsored by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding and translating potato nutrition research into science-based policy and education initiatives.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst food science professor and symposium co-chair Eric Decker, PhD, noted that several factors are driving the need for innovation and increased nutrition research.
"Americans continue to fail meeting dietary lipids recommendations," said Decker, "although we have significantly decreased trans fatty acid consumption. As dietary recommendations have changed over the years, from the use of animal-based fats to tropical oils to hydrogenated oils, our fat intake has also changed, as has the potential health benefits. The need for more research is pressing, particularly in light of the many roles of fats in foods and the difficulties in changing the type of fat used in many foods."
Co-chaired by Decker and Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, distinguished professor at The Pennsylvania State University, the symposium highlighted the latest research on the role of fatty acids in health and new technologies that are changing the types of fats used in food production. A cross-disciplinary group of food scientists were brought together with nutrition and industry scientists to cover a variety of topics, including:
Maureen Storey, PhD, APRE president and CEO, noted that the satellite session also provided a unique forum in which to consider the current facts on the potato industry's success in removing trans fatty acids (TFAs) from a variety of products.
"The potato industry removed trans fats from its products long ago," Storey stated, "using new reduced- or trans fat-free oils and technologies and reformulating those products to virtually eliminate TFA without increasing saturated fat levels. It is important for the food and nutrition science communities to continue to research the health benefits of various dietary fats as well as the opportunities for innovative processing technologies that offer science-based solutions to the challenges of changing dietary fats."
Several of the presentations are based on papers slated to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. A full video of the symposium will be available on ASN's website in the coming weeks.
The Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) is a not-for-profit organization 100% dedicated to expanding and translating scientific research into evidence-based policy and education initiatives that recognize the role of all forms of the potato—a nutritious vegetable—in promoting health for all age groups. APRE is actively building the science foundation concerning the nutritional benefits of the white potato; creating partnerships with critical health professional organizations in the United States and Canada; and educating dietitians and health professionals by providing them with the latest scientific research and information on potato nutrition, consumption, and affordability.
For more, visit http://www.apre.org
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