Although dietary fat and its role in cardiovascular prevention has been one of the most extensively studied nutritional topics, it continues to be an ever-expanding research area. Particularly thanks to studies on Mediterranean diet, we now know that fat quality is more relevant than the amount of fat we eat in the diet.

Thus, saturated and trans fats have been found to increase the risk of atherogenic disease. This is why it is recommended to substitute complex carbohydrates or unsaturated fat for unsaturated and trans fats with the aim of reducing saturated and trans fat intake to <10% and <1%, respectively, of the total calorie intake.

Recent population studies, particularly that conducted in Kuopio, Finland, and those on Mediterranean diet, stress the important role of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as key nutrients in preventing cardiovascular disease in modern societies.

Furthermore, a special type of polyunsaturated fatty acids, i.e. those of the omega-3 (n-3) series, is increasingly becoming essential nutrients for a healthy diet, especially in the case of children. Therefore, there is a rationale for four the Scientific Societies that are strongly committed to disseminate the benefits of a healthy diet in preventing cardiovascular disease, and to prepare a joint statement with the purpose of spreading improved knowledge on the importance of changing to a healthy diet with a well-balanced fat intake for industrialized populations.

Accordingly, a multidisciplinary panel of experts from the following institutions has developed the present joint statement targeted at both adults and children of different ages: Spanish Society of Arteriosclerosis, Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine, Spanish Association of Paediatrics, Spanish Society of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Paediatric Nutrition and Dietetics, and Spanish Society for Food Sciences.