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Why does dietary fat cause weight gain?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Dietary fat does not necessarily cause weight gain. The amount of fat and the type of fat will determine if you gain weight as will your total daily calorie intake. We need healthy fats to maintain a healthy heart, for optimal brain function, and for satiety. Healthy fat in limited amounts actually helps you lose weight in conjunction with an overall calorie controlled diet.
Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics
Fat yields the most calories per gram at 9 calories, more so than any other macronutrient (such as carbohydrates and proteins which yield 4). Fat typically is included in most food choices, so it becomes really easy to over eat fat. Extra fat that is not needed for the body to function is then stored in the body leading to weight gain.
Jim White
Nutrition & Dietetics

It is important to include fat in the diet, however people eating a lot of high fat foods will gain weight. When looking at total consumption for the day, generally keeping fat intake to 30% will be a good balance for weight maintenance. When trying to lose weight staying between 20% & 25% fat intake will help keep the calories down. 

It is also important to choose most of your fats from the mono & poly-unsaturated fats. These "healthy fats" are the plant based fats, such as nuts, olive oil, avocado, peanut butter, etc. Saturated fats should be limited, these "unhealthy fats" are the animal-based fats that are found in meats, butter, cheese, & dairy that is not fat-free. Transfat should be avoided entirely.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.