Understanding Your Diet’s Fat Content

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food label fat content

While calories are indisputably a vital element that needs to be monitored in your diet, fat is equally important but is not generally given the attention it is due. While it is true that there are different kinds of fat and that they are not all bad, it’s essential to keep track of the number of fat grams you are consuming.

What are the Different Kinds of Fats, and How Much Fat Can I Consume?

Saturated and trans fats are very problematic, and excessive consumption of them can lead to serious health problems, like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Unsaturated fats, however, which can be derived from various sources, including avocado and nuts, for example, benefit the body and can help you avoid such illnesses. However, no matter what kind of fat consumed, you must always remember that too many fat grams per day will cause weight gain.

It is recommended that your fat intake should comprise no more than 30 percent of your total calories per day. Therefore, a person consuming the average intake of 2,000 a day should not exceed 65 grams of fat. The chances are very strong that you are eating an excessive amount of fat.

It is important to ensure that the majority of the fat you consume is unsaturated. Saturated fats should not exceed 20 grams (and should preferably be far less), and you should seek to avoid trans fats entirely.

Fats in Popular Foods

In our fast-paced and stressful world, we unfortunately often find ourselves turning to processed food. Unfortunately, such foods tend to contain high fat levels. Here are some examples.

  • Hamburger from a fast-food restaurant: 36 grams
  • Fish sandwich from a fast-food restaurant: 24 grams
  • Potato chips (one ounce): 10 grams
  • French fries (10): 8 grams
  • Cheese pizza (one slice): 8 grams

Other foods with fat levels that might surprise you are:

  • Peanut butter (14 grams)
  • Whole milk (7 grams)
  • Cheddar cheese (one ounce)
  • Cooked bacon (3 slices): 10 grams
  • Hot dog: 14 grams

Take a moment to carefully look at the portion sizes here. People usually eat more than only one ounce of cheese, one slice of pizza, or ten French fries!

This Might Surprise You

There are several foods that you probably assume are lower in fat than they actually are. Examples include:

  • Packaged meals. They tend to have added butter, oil, or sauce.
  • Chicken and other poultry can be high fat if the skin is left on.
  • Various salad dressings. Examples include Thousand Island and Ranch.
  • Popcorn served in movie theaters. The high fat is created by processing methods.

Hidden trans fats lurk in dangerous multitudes in processed foods, like prepackaged meals and snacks. The trans fats are added to extend products’ shelf life.

Unsaturated, good fats are present in olive and vegetable oil, nuts, avocados, and several kinds of fish (Including salmon, sardines, and mackerel). Keep in mind that while these fats are good for your heart and general health, consuming too many of them will create weight gain.

Use the knowledge you have gained from this article to aid you on your journey to better health. You won’t regret it!

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