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!
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!
The Low-Down on Fat
Despite its negative associations, dietary fat is undeniably imperative and vital to achieving and maintaining good health. 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.
Although fat sources are denser in calories, it is important to recognize dietary fat does not necessarily translate to body fat. Fat 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.
• Prompting efficient blood clotting and muscle movement.
• Reducing systemic and chronic inflammation with the presence of "healthy" fats (described in more detail below), which can help protect heart health and improve blood sugars.
How Much Fat Should You Eat Per Day?
But to submit the body with such contributions and benefits, dietary fat has recognized boundaries and proposed reference ranges. And while the answer to the question, "How much fat should I eat?" and "How many fat calories per day?" varies based on individuals needs, there are streamlined recommendations.
Health experts commonly suggest fat should comprise no more than 35 percent of total daily calories: Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, 35 percent translates to a maximum 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, as some fats pack on more than just calories, but provide worthy nutrients and benefits. Types of fats include trans, saturated, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats:
The most harmful of them all, trans fats are approvingly discouraged relative to their highly processed majority. Also recognized as hydrogenated oils, trans fats are created when unsaturated fats are saturated through the process of hydrogenation, largely found in stick margarines and shortenings and the products they exist in.
Connected to their researched relationship to heart disease, the American Heart Association discourages and recommends their intake should not exceed no more than one percent of total daily calories (20 calories or 2 grams of trans fat).
This type of fat is solid at room temperature, displays high melting points, and is naturally found in animal meats, butter, and whole milk and full-fat dairy products, along with plant-based sources such as coconut oil and butter and palm oils.
Though not as discouraged as trans fat, the American Heart Association recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves five to six percent of calories from saturated fat.
Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, that equates to more than 120 calories or 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
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, including olive and canola oils, olives, nuts and associated nut butter, 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 and among the two, omega-3 fatty acids are favorably encouraged mostly linked to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega-6 sources include vegetable oils and some meats, while omega-3s are widely recognized for their composition in fatty fish, including anchovy, tuna, herring, rainbow trout, and halibut, flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and their associated oils, also including olive oil.
Replacing saturated and trans fats with MUFAs and PUFAs, can lower the levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in the blood — which, in turn, can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Eat Fat and Lose It, Too
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Furthermore, each meal contains 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily with 40 to 50 percent of total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20 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!
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