How Much Fat is in Fat?

These days, everyone is talking about the importance of cutting back on fat. Surveys show that we're eating less fat than we used to, but we still are getting about 34 percent of our calories from fat. That's more than the 30 percent of our calories that should come from fat.

The number of calories you need each day varies depending on your body size and activity levels. But someone who needs about 2,000 calories a day should be eating no more than 65 grams of fat a day on average.

Guide To Determining Dietary Fat

Check below to figure out how to determine your fat intake. Please note that the example below is for someone who needs a total of 2,000 calories a day. But the way you calculate how much fat you should eat is the same for people needing other amounts of daily calories.

1. Take the number of calories you eat each day and multiply it by 30 percent (.30). For example:
2,000 calories x .30 = 600 calories from fat
2. Divide your answer by 9 because there are 9 calories in each gram of fat. This will give you the number of grams of fat per day that should be your goal.
600 9 = 65 grams
3. You can use the information food labels to keep track of the fat you eat each day. By planning you meals in advance and balancing higher fat choices with lower fat ones, you can keep your day's total at the recommended 30 percent of calories or less from fat. Use the Nutrition Facts Section of the food label to compare the fat content of products before you buy foods. Compare serving sizes when comparing total fat content.

Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the Federal Citizen Information Center (www.pueblo.gsa.gov/).


Last Editorial Review: 3/13/2003