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 Agriculture (USDA) recommends
that about 30% of a person's total calories each day should
come from fat - and most of that fat should be monounsaturated or
Saturated fat and trans fat can raise cholesterol and increase
the risk of heart disease, so their intake should be kept to less
than 10% of a person's total calories each day. Individual
foods may contain more or less than 30% 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.
For more information, check out these articles:
Fats and Your Child
Deciphering Food Labels
Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: January 2007
Originally reviewed by:
Neil Izenberg, MD
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