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Fat Math - Figuring out your fat intake

How much fat should you eat?

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Fat Math

You should already be in the habit of reading the labels on all commercial food products. Newer labels include not only the total fat, but also the amount of saturated fat in a product. These labels base their percentage on a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet, of which no more than 30% should consist of any type of fats. 1 fat gram equals 9 calories, thus no more than 700 fat calories per day should be ingested, based on the aforementioned standard. If your caloric intake is less, adjust your fat intake accordingly. Newer labels will also provide cholesterol facts, which should be limited to no more than 300 milligrams per day.

Optimum cholesterol levels are measured not only overall, but by the ratio of LDL (bad) to HDL (good). The recommendation is to keep your cholesterol levels between 200-239 milligrams. Higher numbers are cause for great alarm. However, one can have high cholesterol levels, yet still be considered good as long as the ratio follows the guidelines. The ratio of cholesterol to HDL should not exceed 6:1. The ratio of LDL to HDL should ideally be 3:1 and not exceed 4:1.

According to the National Heart and Lung Association, a mere 1.0 gram of Omega-3 fatty acids daily can reduce heart disease in men by 40%. To give you an idea of how much you would have to eat, a 4-ounce serving of Atlantic salmon has more than 2 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids and a 4-ounce serving of tuna has .08 gram.

More About Fats and Healthy Recipes:

Fat Substitutes - Are they healthy?
Fat Terminology - Good Fats and Bad Fats
Fat Math - How much fat should you eat?
Fat Labels
Diet Recipes and Resources

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