I know that only a certain amount of your calories should come from fat, but how do you calculate that percentage?
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends getting about 25% to 35% of our total calories each day from fat — and most of that fat should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.
Saturated fat and trans fat can raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease, so they should make up less than 10% of a person's daily total calories.
Individual foods may contain more or less fat, but it's easier to control total fat intake if you're aware of the fat content of the foods you eat. To get this percentage, divide calories from fat by total calories (this information appears on the food label) and then multiply by 100. For example, if a 300-calorie food has 60 calories from fat, you divide 60 by 300 and then multiply by 100. That food has 20% of its calories from fat.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: February 2010
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