How much fat should I consume each day?

Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

Try to limit your fat to no more that 30% of your total caloric intake. For example, an individual on a 2000 calorie diet should enjoy no more than 66g of fat/day. Also, make healthier fat choices such as unsaturated fats and omega 3 fats over saturated and trans fats.

The recommended range for fat consumption is between twenty and thirty-five percent of your total daily calories. Due to fat's quality of helping you feel full, diets with less than ten percent fat may result in frequent hunger. Diets in excess of thirty-five percent fat can also lead to overeating due to a lack of food volume (foods high in fat have more calories in a smaller volume). Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats from butter, the skin on poultry, and fried foods. Most of your fat intake should be from naturally occurring fat in foods as well as unsaturated fats in nuts, oils, and salad dressings.
Howard E. Lewine, MD
The amount of fat grams you should consume daily depends upon what else you eat during the day and how active you are.

For many years, the American Heart Association recommended limiting the amount of fat in our diet. Diets high in carbohydrates and low in fat were thought to be the healthiest.

Now, we know that our emphasis should be on:
  • The total calories we get each day (to maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight)
  • Eating the healthiest types of fats and carbohydrates
  • Becoming more physically active — with time scheduled for exercise every day
So, you first want to estimate how many calories you should consume daily. It doesn't need to be exactly the same each day, but you do want the average intake over a week to hit your goal.

Remember that each gram of fat has about 9 calories. Protein and carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram. So consuming a lot of fat -- even healthy fats -- fills up your daily calorie allotment quickly.

Which fats should you choose? Use monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Limit foods that contain saturated fats. And avoid trans fats completely.
Harvard Medical School Healthy Eating: A guide to the new nutrition

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Harvard Medical School Healthy Eating: A guide to the new nutrition

Eat real food. That s the essence of today s nutrition message. Our knowledge of nutrition has come full circle: from a time when most people grew and prepared their own food to an era when...
For your heart's sake, keep your fat intake between 20 percent and 35 percent of your total calories. Make sure most of your fats come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids like plant protein, nuts, vegetable oils and vegetable oil products like trans fat-free spreads, mayonnaise, salad dressings and peanut butter.
Keep your total fat intake to 25 to 35% of your total daily calories (56 to 78 grams of fat for a 2,000 calorie diet).
The healthiest way to stay within this range is to stick to the following guidelines:
  • Monounsaturated fats should account for 20% or fewer of your total daily calories.
  • Polyunsaturated fats should account for 10% or fewer of your total daily calories.
  • Saturated fats should account for fewer than 7% of your total daily calories.
  • Trans fats should account for as few of your total daily calories as possible.

Continue Learning about Fats


At 9 calories per gram, fats can add up quickly in your diet, yet experts recommend that you get only 7% of your calorie intake from fat. Fats also affect your cholesterol, and there are both good and bad fats. The best kind of fa...

ts are called unsaturated fats, and can be found in oils like olive and canola oils, nuts and seeds. These fats can help your body get rid of cholesterol. Saturated fats often have had hydrogen added to them to make them more solid. Other saturated fats are found in cream, butter and meats. They can raise your blood cholesterol. Its wise to learn which is which and check nutrition labels to make proper choices.

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.