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.
The main sources of saturated fat in the typical U.S. diet are sandwiches, desserts and sweet snacks. Saturated fat occurs naturally in meat and dairy products. It's added to many baked goods. 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.
March 06, 2021
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- Changes to the Nutrition Facts label. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/changes-nutrition-facts-label. Accessed Feb. 15, 2021.
- 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov. Accessed Feb. 15, 2021.
- Saturated fat. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats. Accessed Feb. 15, 2021.
- FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov. Accessed Feb. 15, 2021.