The media will have you believe that eating fat will make you fat. But what they don’t tell you is that dietary fat is essential to optimal health and longevity. So, why does fat get the bad reputation? Mainly because many people overdo their fat consumption. Find out here the proper amount of fat you need on a daily basis.
Energy levels, hormone optimization and balance, brain health, joint health, cholesterol control… all of these are controlled by dietary fat intake. Dietary fats are essential for life and humans must consume fat to help out with many different things.
Fats are not to be held solely responsible for the few extra pounds you may be carrying. They may have helped contribute to your caloric excess but cannot be the only thing to blame.
Fats do have 9 calories per gram, which is more than double that of carbs and proteins. However, that doesn’t make them bad. It just means you don’t need as much to get the necessary nutrients and calories from them.
Of course, everybody has differing needs and goals. Therefore, it’s important for you to realize that the following are guidelines, but they’ll provide you a good starting point.
Upper Limit of Fat Intake Based Upon Calories
These are good upper limits of daily fat intake. Find your necessary caloric intake on the left and the corresponding fat number will be the number you’ll need to keep your total fat intake under.
Calories Total Fat (g)
1,600 / 53g
2,000 / 65g
2,200 / 73g
2,500 / 80g
2,800 / 93g
The Right Kind of Fat
The type of fat you consume also plays an important role. While many doctors and media outlets will try to convince you to keep your saturated fat intake quite low, your body is actually able to utilize saturated fat as a good energy source.
However, like all fats, saturated fats shouldn’t be eaten in excess. Just don’t fall for the media’s demonization of saturated fat.
Quality fats are critical. Choose animal sources that are wild-caught (fish), grass-fed (beef and dairy), and free-range and fed a natural diet (chickens).
Avoid high fat foods that come in boxes (i.e. many of the things found down the snack and cake aisle at the grocery store). Many times these foods are high in fat and low in satisfaction. They’ll cause you to crave more and will easily put you into a caloric surplus, setting your body up for weight gain.
A Good Rule of Thumb
Fat intake should be between 15-25% of your dietary intake. In some cases, it may need to be more. For example, women who are pregnant need to ensure that they are consuming enough healthy fats for their babies brain development. In other cases, you may find that you need more or less fat intake.
As stated before, these are just good places to start. It’s up to you find what works best. You should strive to be your own experiment and learn all you can about your body and how it functions. These guidelines will assist you along the way.
Calories Fat Intake Range (g)
1,600 / 26 – 44 g
1,800 / 30 – 50 g
2,000 / 33 – 55 g
2,200 / 36 – 61 g
2,400 / 40 – 66 g
2,600 / 43 – 72 g
2,800 / 46 – 77 g
3,000 / 50 – 83 g
Follow the above ranges and really try to learn how your body is processing your fat intake. You may find that you need less or more than the above guidelines. It depends on you and what you’re trying to accomplish. But these numbers will get you started off on the right foot!