Facts on Fat Intake

For a printer-friendly version of the Fat Content of Some Foods chart, click on the icon to download.
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For a printer-friendly version of the Ways to Cut Fat chart, click on the icon to download.
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For a printer-friendly version of the Guide to Healthier Eating chart, click on the icon to download.
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Fat is a good, conentrated source of energy. It contains more than twice the energy in carbohydrates or protein. There are 9 calories per gram of fat, while carbohydrates and protein contain 4 calories per gram. Fat also provides vitamins A, D, E, and K. Certain fats are essential for the body, meaning our bodies cannot make them, therefore they must be part of your diet. However, not too much fat is needed. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that all Americans limit fat intake to 30% of calories. What does this mean?

How much fat you should have depends on the number of calories you need according to the formula:

Use the following chart to find our the number of calories from fat (in grams_ that 14 to 18 year old need. For most people, counting grams of fat rather then calories from fat is easier. To keep track of fat grams, read labels and/or fat tables and add up the total every day. Adjustments to any excesses can be made up over the next four to five days.

Age Group Suggested Daily Calories 30% Calories from Fat (in grams)
Boys    
14 yrs. old 2,500 750 calories from fat (83 grams)
15 to 18 yrs. old 3,000 900 calories from fat (100 grams)
Girls    
14 to 18 yrs. old 2,200 660 calories from fat (73 grams)
     

For a printer-friendly version of this chart, click on the icon to download.
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How much is a gram of fat?
It is easiest to think in terms of teaspoons of fat. If 4 grams equals 1 teaspoon of fat, then:

Each of the following amounts of spreads and salad dresign provides approximately the same amount of fat as one teaspoon of margarine or butter (4 grams of fat).

A special note about ground turkey
Substituting ground turkey for ground beef to reduce the amount of fat in a recipe is a common recommendation in such foods as chili, tacos, and lasagna. Be aware of several things when purchasing ground turkey in the grocery store. Look for a nutrition label to compare packages and serving sizes.

 

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