I know that only a certain amount of your calories should come from fat, but how do you calculate that percentage?
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends getting about 25% to 35% of our total calories each day from fat — and most of that fat should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.
Saturated fat and trans fat can raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease, so they should make up less than 10% of a person's daily total calories.
Individual foods may contain more or less fat, but it's easier to control total fat intake if you're aware of the fat content of the foods you eat. To get this percentage, divide calories from fat by total calories (this information appears on the food label) and then multiply by 100. For example, if a 300-calorie food has 60 calories from fat, you divide 60 by 300 and then multiply by 100. That food has 20% of its calories from fat.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: February 2010
|United States Department of Health and Human Services The United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.|
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|National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics Offering nutrition information, resources, and access to registered dietitians.|
|MyPlate Kids' Page This portion of the ChooseMyPlate.gov site offers a Blast Off game for kids, coloring pages, and posters.|
|ChooseMyPlate.gov ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information on how to follow the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes resources and tools to help families lead healthier lives.|
|Deciphering Food Labels Find out how to make healthy food choices for your family by reading food labels.|
|Fats and Your Child Fats have been wrongly accused of being "bad." But certain kinds of fat are actually good for us and are an important part of a healthy diet.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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