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Review article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

The role of fats in the transition to sustainable diets

Bajzelj, Bojana; Laguzzi, Federica; Röös, Elin


In comparison with protein, dietary fat receives little attention in the food system sustainability literature, although we calculate that the average consumption of fats in many populous regions of the world is below nutritional recommendations. Animal products are the major source of dietary fat, particularly in regions with excess fat consumption. We estimate that an additional 45 Mt of dietary fat per year need to be produced and consumed for the global population to reach recommended levels of fat consumption, and we review different strategies to fill this gap sustainably. These strategies include diverting oils currently used for energy production to human consumption, increasing palm oil and peanut oil yields while avoiding further deforestation, developing sustainable cropping systems for the production of rapeseed and soybean oils, increasing the consumption of whole soybeans and derived products, and expanding the use of animal fats already produced.

Published in

The Lancet Planetary Health
2021, Volume: 5, number: 9, pages: e644-e653

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Food Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)