Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., R.D.
Department of Nutrition Sciences

Areas of expertise are:

  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • The effect nutrition has on bone health and osteoporosis
  • Diet myths

Kitchin's comments on new WHO saturated fat guidelines:


  • "The proposed new guidelines offer clear recommendations on trans fats – something we’ve not been able to give to consumers. We’ve known that trans fats are likely a big player in heart disease but we’ve not given consumers a number of grams that they should limit their intake to. If these guidelines are approved, the 1% of total calories will translate into roughly limiting them to 2 grams a day."

  • "The proposed guidelines really stress the importance of replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat for lowering the risk of heart disease. Over the past couple of years, there has been a chorus of “you guys got it wrong! Saturated fats are not bad for us!”. And that’s true – sort of! First of all, there are many different types of saturated fats – and they have different effects on LDL levels. For instance, some research shows that full fat dairy foods like whole milk and cheese don’t raise LDL’s and may even have an overall effect of lowering the risk of heart disease. As a group, we can probably say saturated fats are neutral – neither good nor bad."
  • "I hope when the proposed guidelines are approved, they stress that: 
    • 1. Saturated fats as a category are probably neutral 
    • 2. It’s the replacing of them with polyunsaturated fats that has an effect on lowering the risk of heart disease and that
    • 3. We’re not going to demonize saturated fats – some are fine but if your diet is really high in them, replacing them with polyunsaturated fats could have big health benefits."

  • "The proposed guidelines really need to give people flexibility in choosing how they want to eat based on their own values, beliefs, and cultures."