How much fat do you eat every day?
Americans eat too much saturated fat.
The American Heart Association (NHANES III, 1988-1994) says the average daily intake of saturated fat from high saturated fat foods for the American male is 33,000 milligrams, and for the American female is 23,000 milligrams.
That's up to 50% higher than recommended.
The recommended FDA daily intake of saturated fat from high saturated fat foods is approximately 20,000 milligrams (for an average 2000 calorie diet-FDA/DRV recommendations) for the average healthy person.
For those with high cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) Diet which lowers the allowed daily saturated fat to approximately 14,000 milligrams for a 2000 calorie diet.
At that rate, a single serving of some high saturated fat foods contain enough saturated fat for a whole day!
How much fat is saturated?
Saturated fat is still the largest dietary fat source associated with heart disease. Your liver uses saturated fat to produce up to 80% of the cholesterol in your body.
Trans-fats have proven to be more deadly (Harvard Nurses' Health Study, JAMA, 2006, shows 50% more heart disease with trans-fat hard margarine) than high saturated fat foods, but the amount of trans-fat in the average diet is still lower than saturated fat. Also, labeling laws have changed in 2006, leading to some food companies reducing the trans-fats in their products.
In general, animal products, and some plant oils are the highest in saturated fats
Here is a brief summary of high saturated fat foods that you should consider limiting to improve your heart health:
Note: Coconut oil contains up to 12,000 milligrams saturated fat per 1 tablespoon, olive oil contains 2000 milligrams per 1 tablespoon, and canola or safflower oil contain 1000 milligrams per 1 tablespoon.
Your health depends on all your diet choices
Making better choices about how much fat you include in your daily diet can help your health. But most of us need to do more.
In addition, you might consider adding positive changes like daily green tea for multiple health benefits!
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This page was last updated by Sharon Jones.
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