Archive for the tag - good fats

How Much Fat Should I Eat Per Day?

Eating the right amount – and the right type – of fat is crucial in supporting a healthy lifestyle. The easiest way to monitor fat intake is to track the number of grams consumed per day.

The dietary guidelines for healthy adults advise a total fat intake of no more than 20% – 35% of total daily calories. To get that number in grams, follow these simple steps:

  1. Calculate your calorie intake. If you’d like to know how many calories you should eat in a day, use this simple formula to determine your recommended caloric intake. My number is 2,840 calories.
  2. Multiply your caloric intake by .20. I get 568 calories.
  3. Then, multiply your caloric intake by .35. I get 994 calories.
    These two numbers give you a recommended calorie range for daily fat intake. In other words, the number of calories from fat that I eat should not exceed 568 – 994 calories per day.
  4. Since there are 9 calories in a gram of fat, simply divide the number of fat calories by 9. For me, the resulting numbers are 63 and 110.

Based on these calculations, my daily fat intake should not exceed 63 – 110 grams. It might sound like a lot, but it’s not. At a whopping 64 grams of fat, for example, it’s the equivalent of eating a foot-long chipotle steak and cheese sandwich from Subway.

Moreover, keep in mind that this number represents total fat. While we’re advised to limit our calories from fat to 20% – 35% of our total calorie intake, experts recommend that less than 7% of our calories come from saturated fats. To that end, ensure that your eating primarily heart-healthy fats, like those found in avocados, nuts and olive oil.

Once you have your daily recommended fat limit, keep track of the fat grams in the foods you eat. Monitoring your fat intake and sticking to the recommended range will help you realize your health, nutrition and fitness goals.

Using the above formula, what’s your daily recommended fat limit in grams? Let me know in the comments below.

Myth: Cooking Olive Oil Destroys Its Benefits.

Not all fats are created equal.

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, and like other unsaturated fats, it offers some great health benefits and is generally considered to be a “good” fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, unsaturated fats:

  • Lower risk of heart disease by improving related risk factors
  • Lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
  • Normalize blood clotting
  • Benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control

Of course, even unsaturated fats are rich in calories – and though they are healthier than saturated fats, they should still be consumed sparingly.

For years, I’ve heard the rumor that the benefits of healthy oils – and olive oils in particular – are destroyed when heated. It’s simply untrue; research shows that olive oil can take the heat. The plant-based compounds are actually very stable up until the oil’s smoking point at around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use virgin olive oil, as opposed to extra virgin, you’ll get a few extra degrees.

More important is how you store the oil. Keep olive oil in a room-temperature cupboard, and use within six months of opening. Light, air and atypical storage temperatures have a dramatic effect on the oil’s stability.