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Knoxville — The federal government is revising its dietary guidelines for consumption of fat and sugar.

The guidelines would make specific recommendations about the kinds of fat and sugar in the ideal American diet.

“We’ve always suggested that dietary sugars be moderated,” said Dr. Michael Zemel, head of nutrition at the University of Tennessee. “Now the recommendations are saying that you should not switch your caloric intake from fat to sugar.”

The new standards would recommend a diet with moderate overall amounts of fat, but low levels of saturated fat and cholesterol.

“It doesn’t take all the sugar and fat out of the diet, it more clearly explains how much of it should be reduced,” said Zemel.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Agriculture Department must approve the guidelines before they go into effect.