How to track saturated fat

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting saturated fat to 10% or less of your daily calories.

To figure out what that means for you, start with the number of calories you normally eat or want to eat in a day. Multiply that number by 10%.

If you normally eat 2,000 calories a day, no more than 200 calories should come from saturated fat. What is that in grams? There are 9 calories in a gram of fat, so that equals 22 grams.

Saturated fat occurs naturally in meat and dairy products. It's added to many baked goods. A main source of saturated fat in the typical U.S. diet are sandwiches, many of which combine meat and cheese. This includes burgers, lunchmeat sandwiches, and tacos in addition to other dishes such as casseroles. Desserts and sweet snacks also are sources of saturated fat in the U.S. diet.

The Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods lists the amount of saturated fat for one serving.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends cutting back on saturated fats by replacing them with unsaturated fats. For example, you can cut 5 grams of saturated fat by replacing 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You could also choose a plant protein such as beans, lentils or tofu instead of meat.

Last Updated Mar 3, 2023

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