What Exactly Is The Recommended Daily Fat Intake?

As active weight trainers, we need to be concerned about our daily fat intake. To put in simply, the fat you eat turns into fat more easily than carbohydrates and proteins do. The more fat you eat, the more fat you wear. It's as simple as that.

What hasn't been simply though, is trying to figure out how much fat and what kind of fat to eat to stay healthy and lean. Most people just don't know their recommended daily fat intake . Let's take a closer look at the fats.

Fatty acids you get from food are the building blocks of fat. They are classified into 3 groups:

Saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. Saturated fats harden at room temperature and usually come from animal sources such as beef and butter fat. Milk, cream, ice cream, and other products made from milk or cream all contain butter fat.

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are usually in liquid form at room temperature and come from vegetable, nut, and seed sources. Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil. Polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature, and remain in liquid form even when refrigerated or frozen.

Monounsaturated fats are found in almond oil, avacado oil, canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and certain cold water fish species such salmon, halibut, mackeral, and rainbow trout. Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature, but solidify when refrigerated.

How much of each do you need?

Your low fat diet should contain much more unsaturated than saturated fat: I would recommend that you look at ingesting 5 percent saturated, 8 percent monounsaturated, and 7 percent polyunsaturated fats of total calories consumed per day.

One way to monitor your daily fat intake is by counting the grams of fat in your diet each day. You can also calculate your daily fat intake by using a simple formula. Try this formula:

Total calories x 20% = daily calories from fat divided by 9 = Grams total fat.
Example: 2,500 calories x .20 = 500 divided by 9 = 56 total grams of fat per day

For saturated fats:

Total calories x 5% = daily calories from saturated fat divided by 9 = grams of saturated fat

Example: 2,500 calories x .05 = 125 divided by 9 = 14 grams of saturated fat per day.

For monounsaturated fats:

Total calories x 8% = daily calories from saturated fat divided by 9 = grams of saturated fat

Example: 2,500 calories x .08 = 200 divided by 9 = 23 grams of monounsaturated fat per day

For polyunsaturated fats:

Total calories x 7% = daily calories from saturated fat divided by 9 = grams of saturated fat

Example: 2,500 calories x .07 = 175 divided by 9 = 19 grams of polyunsaturated fat per day

Another way you might want to monitor your fat intake is by limiting most foods in your diet to those that have 20 percent of less of their calories from fat. How do you do that? Well, by using the serving information on the nutrition labels of food, you can easily determine whether the food meets you standards.

Try using this formula to find the percentage of calories from fat:

Total fat calories per serving divided by total calories per serving x 100 - % calories from fat

Example: 56 fat calories divided by 300 calories x 100 = 19 % of calories from fat.

Try using the above examples to determine your daily fat intake.

If you're an active weight trainer, exerciser, or bodybuilder trying to stay lean, you should lower your total fat intake to about 20 percent of total calories consumed each day.

By reading the Nutrition Facts label and list of ingredients to find out the amount of, and the type of, fat contained in any particular food, you can draw a conclusion weather to keep it or leave it (try and use the above noted example).

All animal fats contain cholesterol and are usually high in their proportion of saturated fat. While vegetable fats have no cholesterol, they may have a high amount of saturated fats, which can contribute to heart disease.

Knowing the type of oil used can tell you the amount of saturated fat you are eating. For example, palm oil is often used in canned and fried foods as well as in baked goods. Of the calories in palm oil, 51 percent are saturated fat, 39 percent are monounsaturated fat, and 10 percent are polyunsaturated.

Coconut oil, another inexpensive oil used often in baked goods, has a higher percentage of saturated fat than lard does. Over 90 percent of the calories in coconut oil are saturated fats. |

Corn oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil, on the other hand, are all vegetable fats that are high in polyunsaturated and their intake is recommended to meet the fat requirement of our body while preparing for the Marathon running.

Here's the bottom line: If you're serious about your performance in the gym, on the court, on the field or anywhere else, you will need to monitor you daily fat intake.

Because fat contains almost double the amount of calories than either protein or carbohydrates do on a per gram basis, so you will need to make sure you monitor and adjust on an ongoing basis.

All the best,


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