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Nutrition

Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

How Much Fat Should You Eat Per Day?

Let it be known that weight loss and fat intake can absolutely coexist, as it should! But how much fat should you eat per day? We’re shedding some light on this heavy question!

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Let it be known that weight loss and fat intake can absolutely coexist – as it should!

But how much fat should you eat per day? What about how many grams of fat per day to lose weight?

These heavy, yet common questions are answered!

Understanding Dietary Fat

Fat is one of the three macronutrients, with carbohydrate and protein being the other two. But dissimilar to both carb and protein that offer four calories per gram, fat contains more than double at nine calories.

Despite its negative associations, dietary fat is vital to achieving and maintaining good health. Although fat sources are denser in calories, it is important to recognize dietary fat does not necessarily translate to body fat.

Dietary fat, especially healthy fat, does a lot for the body. It is essential for the body to carry out a number of functions, including:

• Building cell membranes and nerve sheaths, acting as external walls and protectant barriers.

• Assisting in nutrient utilization obtained from foods, especially the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

• Promoting efficient blood clotting and muscle movement.

• Reducing systemic and chronic inflammation with the presence of "healthy" fats, which can help protect heart health and improve blood sugars.

How Much Fat Should You Eat Per Day?

To grant the body with such contributions and benefits, dietary fat has proposed reference ranges. The answers to the questions "How much fat should I eat?" and "How many fat calories per day?" can vary. However, streamlined recommendations exist regarding daily fat intake.

Health experts commonly suggest fat should comprise no more than 35 percent of total daily calories. Based on 2,000 calories, 35 percent totals to a max of 700 calories from fat per day. Or, close to 78 grams.

But nutrition and health recommendations also look beyond quantifiable value and advocate its intake based on quality. Some fats pack on more than just calories and provide worthy nutrients and benefits.

Types of fats include trans, saturated, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats:

Trans Fats

Trans fats are also known as partially hydrogenated oils. They are created when unsaturated fats become saturated through the process of hydrogenation. They are largely found in stick margarine and the products they exist in, such as fried foods and baked goods.

Trans fats prove to negatively affect health. They increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which in turn increases heart disease risk. Their intake has also been linked to type 2 diabetes development.

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages to avoid or limit the intake of products containing trans fats.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fat is solid at room temperature and displays a high melting point. The fat is naturally found in animal meats, butter, and whole milk and full-fat dairy products. It is also found in plant-based sources such as coconut oil and butter and palm oils.

Saturated fat is not as discouraged as trans fats. However, the AHA recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves five to six percent of calories from saturated fat.

Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, the recommended fat intake equates to more than 120 calories or 13 grams daily.

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are broken down into monounsaturated (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs):

• Monounsaturated Fats: MUFAs are soft or liquid at room temperature and naturally-occur in plants. Plant-based sources include olive and canola oils, olives, nuts, nut butters, and avocados.

• Polyunsaturated Fats: Like MUFAs, PUFAs are also soft or liquid at room temp. They are further broken down into omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Among the two, omega-3 fatty acids are most encouraged related to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Omega-6 sources include vegetable oils and some meats. Omega-3s are widely recognized for being in fatty fish, including anchovy, tuna, herring, rainbow trout, and halibut. Flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and olive oil are also sources of omega-3s.

Replacing saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats can lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the blood. This, in turn, reduces the risk of developing heart disease.

How to Eat Fat and Lose It, Too

So you may be wondering, "How much fat should I eat to lose weight?" Or even more specifically, "How many grams of fat per day to lose weight?"

Take the guesswork out of such questions by utilizing the nation's leading weight loss meal delivery service. That means heart-healthy meals straight to doorsteps!

Seasoned chefs prepare meals that fall at or below the AHA's recommendations for calories, sodium, total fat, and saturated fat. All meals contain less than 600 milligrams of sodium and less than 3.5 grams of saturated fat to support heart health.

Each meal contains 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily with 40 to 50 percent of total caloric intake from lean protein. Twenty to 25 percent of calories from healthy fats, and 30 to 35 percent from complex carbohydrates. The combination of macronutrients is scientifically-proven to help jumpstart and sustain healthy weight loss!

Ordering heart-healthy meals is easy, too. Simply select a heart-healthy program, choose a plan that best fits your schedule, and start creating a customized menu!

Meals rich with healthy fats include peanut butter crepes with strawberry compote, grilled salmon with creamy pesto, and oven fried catfish. (This is just to name a few of the hundreds!)

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on April 04, 2017. Updated on May 23, 2019.

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