What is dietary fat?
- Typically solid at room temperature
- Potentially associated with negative health effects, including heart disease
Unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
- Liquid at room temperature
- Associated with raising HDL ("good") cholesterol levels while lowering LDL ("bad") cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of heart disease
- Raises LDL ("bad") cholesterol and lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol — a dangerous combination
How does the body use fat?
Dietary fat is needed for the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat also provides the body with nine calories of energy per gram of fat. Additionally, the body also uses fat to produce hormones, signal hunger, regulate body temperature, and construct cell membranes.
How much fat do I need in my diet?
Adults should receive 20-35% of their calories from fat. Saturated fats should be limited to 10% of calories, monounsaturated fats should account for 10-15% of calories, and polyunsaturated fats should account for roughly 10% of calories. Artificial trans fats should be completely avoided.
For a typical adult who consumes 2,000 calories per day, the recommendations equate to roughly 44-77 grams of total fats, no more than 22 grams of saturated fats, 22-33 grams of monounsaturated fats, and around 22 grams of polyunsaturated fats.
Which foods are high in fat?
|Example||Serving Size||Fat (g)|
|Pork Sausage Patties||2 patties||24.0|
|Cooking Oils||1 tbsp||14.0|
|Thick Cut Bacon||2 slices||12.0|
|French Fries||1 small order||11.0|
|Vanilla Ice Cream||2/3 cup||10.5|
|Potato Chips||15 chips||10.0|