Recommendations for carbs and fat are dropped from NNR!

The preliminary new Nordic Nutrition recommendations contained a two major changes: the recommendations for carb and fat percentage of the diet are dropped!

The reason is that there’s no good evidence that eating a simple low fat diet results in better weight or health. Even when it comes to carbohydrates the focus in the new recommendations is on quality, not quantity. Thus: more whole grains, fruit and vegetables and less refined carbohydrates.

In theory the limit for fat is just increased from 35 to 40 percent, as there are still limits for different kinds of fat:

Saturated + trans fat maximum 10%
Monounsaturated fat 10 – 20% (increased from 10 – 15%)
Polyunsaturated fat 5-10%

As the protein intake is recommended not to exceed 20% there’s theoretically a limit at a minimum of 40% carbohydrate, compared to the old recommendation of 50 – 60% (from NNR 2004).

So, theoretically two baby steps in the right direction. But in practice this sends a surprisingly strong message: the maximum limit of fat intake is removed! The minimum limit for carbs is removed!

Two pieces of good news.

Press release: New Nordic Nutrition Recommendations – focus on the whole diet


  1. Good news. Definitely a step in the right direction although it is absolutely insane to put saturated fats and trans fats in the same category.
  2. Tia
    Thanks for the report.
    I agree to Kristjan: they are all scientists, they should know better than to put saturated fats and trans fats in the same category. Additional there are differences between trans fats from natural resources like dairy and those used during industrial food production.

    German officials use to recommend a limit of only saturated fats to max 10 per cent of daily kcal intake, no trans fats included.
    Officials in Germany also saw no or low evidence for a high carb intake, but decided not to change their recommendations of 50 to 60 per cent and call their recommendations still evidence based.... LOL

    Let's see what the Northern experts will do....

  3. MarkR
    I agree with Kristjan! Large institutions are like aircraft carriers. Even when their captains know they need to change course, the process is slow.
  4. Tia
    You Sweden people with your LCHF irritated some participants of the Nordic Nutrition Conference:
  5. Donna E
    Doc, I guess baby steps are good, but they seem problematic in this sense: if people started eating more fat but continued eating lots of carbs, they'd get fatter and probably not do their hearts any favors either.
  6. Donna E
    I just read the press release about the new Nordic guidelines, and I think the good news is that they cast doubt on the older recommendations. But obviously a paradigm change is what's really needed, and it's going to take a long, long time for officialdom to reach that stage.
  7. American Heart Association removed their limits on total fat more than ten years ago. What? You didn't know that? Well, it wasn't well advertised. And, you can check but I think some of the pages on their website haven't heard about it, either. Given their history, unless these organizations make a strong retraction, this is probably only a face-saving gimmick for when it all comes crashing down.

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