How many grams of fat do I need to have a day?
Fat is an important part of a balanced diet. Fats play an important role in your body and help other nutrients work more efficiently. However, eating too much fat or the wrong kind of fat may increase your risk of obesity, and other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend:
- Keep total fat intake between 20-35 percent of the total calories.
- Eat less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol.
- Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
If you need 2,000 calories a day, your total fat intake should be no more than 55 to 78 grams per day.
Fat has 9 calories per gram
2,000 x .25 = 500 fat calories divided by 9 = 55 grams
2,000 x .35 = 700 fat calories divided by 9 = 78 grams
Your saturated fat intake should be no more than 22 grams per day
2,000 x .10 = 200 fat calories divided by 9 = 22 grams
What do I need to know about the different types of fat?
Fats are a storage form of fatty acids. The different types of fatty acids make one kind of fat different from another.
Purpose of Fat
- Burned for energy
- Make up structure of your cells in your body
- Special duties such as nerve functions
Types of Fatty Acids
- May contribute to heart disease
- Example: butter and oils that are solid at room temperature
- Lowers total and "bad" cholesterol in the blood
- Examples: avocado, olive oil, canola oil, almonds, peanuts
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Examples: fish, flaxseed, corn oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- Can be from natural or "artificial" sources
- Natural sources are primarily found in dairy, beef and lamb
- Artificial trans fat are created through a man made chemical process
- Artificial trans fat have been shown to increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol
- Examples of artificial trans fat: anything with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, such as some shortenings and margarines
Serving Sizes of Fat
|Canola, Olive or Peanut oil||1 tsp.|
|Peanut Butter||1/2 tbsp.|
|Corn, Safflower, or Soybean oil||1 tsp.|
|Pumpkin or Sunflower seeds||1 tbsp.|
|Cream cheese, regular||1 tbsp.|
|Shortening or lard||1 tsp.|
|Sour cream||2 tbsp.|