How can I know how much fat I am eating?

Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
There are two ways to look up amount of fat grams contained in a serving of food. In packaged foods the Food and Drug Administration requires that total fat grams, including unhealthy saturated fat be labeled on all foods. First, look at the serving size listed for the food, second determine how many servings are in your portion of food on your plate. Another way of looking up food without a label is by using a good reference guide. The United States Department of Agriculture has the following online nutrient database You can enter a food and get nutrition information, such as total fat content.
Karen Graham
Nutrition & Dietetics
There are a lot of great free programs online that allow you to enter your daily food intake and it calculates all the nutrients for you, including fat. They also break down the fat into the different types; saturated, monounsaturated, etc.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know how much fat is in the food you eat, especially when you are eating out. For foods you buy and prepare yourself, check the food labels. The Nutrition Facts label tells you how much fat, saturated fat, and calories from fat are in one serving. If you are cooking a meal or dish with lots of ingredients, try to add up the fat and calories from each ingredient and divide by the number of servings. If you are eating out, many restaurants, particularly chain and fast food restaurants, now provide nutritional information on request. If you are uncertain about any foods, ask your dietitian for an estimate. At the end of the day, add up all the calories from fat from the labels on the foods you’ve eaten and any other hidden fats in foods without labels. This will give you the total of daily calories from fat. Divide this by the total calories you’ve eaten for the day and multiply by 100. This will give you the percent of total calories from fat.

Eastside Medical Center
I can know how much fat I am eating by looking at the labels on the foods and asking the waiters and waitresses in the restaurants. The chef can usually tell them how much fat is used in the foods. Nutritionists at hospitals can give them this answer as well. There are books, both in bookstores and in grocery stores that give the amount of calories and the fat content of certain foods in addition to the labels. There are multiple sites on the Internet that will also allow you to calculate the calories associated with certain foods as well as the fat content. The American Heart Association also has information to help guide certain diets, as well as other dieting corporations. The main thing is to limit the amount of fat to less than 10% of our diet and to be vigilant when we go out to restaurants.

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.