How Many Calories From Fat Should I Eat A Day


How many calories from fat should i consume? In general you should eat a good mix of different foods. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is key to ensure you are eating the right balance of nutrients. Calories from fat are important to know because your overall diet should include far fewer calories from fat than from carbohydrates. Knowing how many calories you’re consuming and what they consist of (the macro-nutrients) will help you ensure a healthy body weight and good health.

What Percentage of My Daily Calories Should Come From Fat?

Although dietary fat is an essential nutrient that your body requires to stay healthy, too much fat – especially unhealthy fat – can lead to overweight, obesity and an increased risk for heart disease. Your individualized dietary fat requirements depend on your total caloric needs, but the percentage of your daily calories that should come from fat remains fairly constant.

Acceptable Range

The acceptable macronutrient distribution range for dietary fat is 20 to 35 percent, which means that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from fat, according to the Institute of Medicine. Since fat contains 9 calories per gram, aim for 44 to 78 grams of fat daily when eating 2,000 calories per day and 56 to 97 grams of fat per day when following a 2,500-calorie meal plan.

How Much Fat Should You Really Eat Every Day?

Yes, even with “healthy fats” (think: avocado), there can be too much of a good thing. Find out how many grams of fat to eat per day, according to nutrition experts.

How Much Fat Should You Really Eat Every Day? , Full frame of abstract shapes and textures formed of bubbles and drops oil stains on a gold colored liquid background.

Thanks to the continued popularity of the ketogenic diet, fat has been thrust into the spotlight. And with the low-fat craze of the ’80s and ’90s long gone (*praise hands emoji*), people are no longer running away from the once-demonized fats — but rather towards them. Now many folks seem to add avocados to seemingly everything and fill their cabinets with a variety of oils. Others, such as those who follow the keto diet, make “fat bombs” and even eat bacon on the reg to increase their daily fat intake. But then there are people (maybe those who have watched What the Health?) who take the opposite approach and still advocate for low-fat, zero-oil diets.

But how much fat per day is it actually healthy to eat, and how low-fat is, well, too low? Here’s everything you need to know about how many grams of fat to eat per day (and in general), straight from nutrition pros.

First, What Are the Different Types of Fats?

Simply put: Not all fats are created equal. (That’s why the term “healthy fats” exists in the first place.) There are four main types of fats:

  • Monounsaturated fats are found in plant foods such as nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
  • Polyunsaturated fats are found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, and certain kinds of fish. They also include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Saturated fats are mostly found in animal products such as meat and dairy.
  • Trans fats are mostly man-made and created by a process called hydrogenation that turns liquid fats into solids. This process has been banned in the U.S., since it can raise your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower your HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Small amounts of trans fats also occur naturally in some animal products, such as fatty cuts of meat.

Of these four, dietitians recommend focusing on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, eating saturated fats in moderation, and avoiding trans fats entirely (or as much as possible because, let’s be honest, life happens).

“Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk for heart disease,” explains Kimberly Yawitz, R.D., a registered dietitian and CrossFit trainer. “There’s also some evidence that they lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, particularly when they replace refined carbohydrates like sweets, white bread, and fruit juices. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been found to lower blood pressure, decrease blood triglycerides, and prevent fatty plaque from building up in the arteries.”

How to Figure Out How Much Fat Per Day Is Right For You

With all the high-fat/low-fat aficionados out there, it’s hard to know what’s actually right for you. Here’s what experts suggest for determining your own personal ideal level of dietary fat.

Start off with the standard fat recommendation. If you’re not sure what fat intake is right for you, give dietitians’ standard recommended daily intake a try and take it from there. “A good rule of thumb is to aim for 20 to 35 percent of your calories from fat,” says Maryann Walsh, R.D., C.D.E., a registered dietitian in Southern Florida. “You can multiply this percentage by your daily calorie intake, then divide that number by 9 to get the grams of fat per day.” If math isn’t your thing, apps such as MyFitnessPal can help you figure this out, says Walsh.

Think long-term. Sure, that keto diet might sound like a good idea right now, but can you imagine yourself eating that way a year from now? If not, experts recommend picking a fat intake you can stick with. “Think about the healthy foods you love eating on a daily basis,” suggests Yawitz. “If you’re a carb queen, you’d probably do well with a low-fat diet. A good starting point would be about 25 percent of your daily calories from fat. If you enjoy nuts, seeds, avocado, and cheese, you’d likely feel deprived on a lower-fat diet. You’ll probably want to aim for 30 to 35 percent of calories from fat.”

Keep an eye on your numbers. “Once you set a goal for your fat intake, try tracking your meals and snacks for a few days,” says Yawitz. “As you track, pay attention to your hunger and energy levels, as well as your body weight. If your body weight increases more than you’d like, you may need to either lower your fat intake or cut calories from carbs or protein. You may also try adjusting your fat level if you’re at the lower end and frequently find yourself tired or hungry.”

Have some fat with every meal. “The best rule of thumb is to include a plant-based source of unsaturated fat at almost every meal/snack,” says Rachel Fine, R.D., C.S.S.D., a registered dietitian nutritionist at To The Pointe Nutrition. “Not only does adding fat to a meal improve satiety, but it also helps to maintain blood sugar levels by balancing the carbohydrate in the meal. Overall, meals and snacks should be a balance among the three macronutrients: complex carbs, health unsaturated fats, and lean protein.”

Here’s How Much Fat You Should Actually Be Eating on the Daily

Top view of a selection of foods that are good sources of dietary fat

How many grams of fat you should eat per day depends on your total calorie intake.

Fat has gotten a bad rap. The truth is, though, that the right kind of dietary fat in the right amounts is not only healthy but essential for your body. But exactly how many grams of fat should you be eating each day?

“Healthy fats are important for many bodily functions, including cell integrity and heart, brain and hormone health as well as for the absorption of certain nutrients and vitamins,” says Cindy Klinger, RDN, LDN, an Integrative Dietitian at Cambiati Wellness in Lafayette, California.

So it’s crucial to know which type of fat you’re consuming and the effect (good or bad) it has on your body, and to have an idea of how much you should consume daily.

Learn how to fill your plate with healthy, nutrient-dense foods by logging your meals on the MyPlate app. Download now to fine-tune your diet today!

Total Fat Recommendation

For healthy adults, dietary fat should account for 20 to 35 percent of your total calories, as recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. So the exact gram requirement for you ultimately depends on the average number of calories in your diet.

For example, if you adhere to a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, you should get about 400 to 700 of those calories from fat every day. Keep in mind that all fat has nine calories per gram, meaning that if you divide those calories by nine, you’ll get your recommendation of 44 to 78 grams of fat per day.

You can use the same calculation based on your specific daily calorie needs, but below is a table with a few examples of common calorie needs and related fat gram recommendations to give you a better idea.

Recommended Grams of Fat Per Day Based on Calorie Intake

Total Calorie IntakeRecommended Calories From FatRecommended Grams of Fat
1,200240 – 42027 – 47
1,500300 – 52533 – 58
1,800360 – 63040 – 70
2,000400 – 70044 – 78
2,200440 – 77049 – 86

Get More Good Fats

A plate of salmon over quinoa with green beans on the side

Unsaturated fats should make up the majority of the dietary fat you eat.

The total fat gram recommendation includes all fats in your diet, whether they are beneficial or not. But ideally, virtually all of the fat you consume should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources, otherwise known as PUFAs and MUFAs.

These fats — which are found in cold-water fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds (including flax and chia) and avocados — can help lower your overall cholesterol level, and thus protect your heart, especially when you consume them in place of saturated fats.


When buying fish, it is best to choose wild-caught. “Generally, wild mackerel, cod, salmon, sardines and trout can be great options,” says Klinger.

Limit Saturated Fats

A plate of homemade breakfast, including steak, eggs and potatoes

Animal-based foods like steak and eggs have a high saturated fat content.

You don’t need to avoid all saturated fats completely, forever, but you should strive to minimize them in your diet as much as possible. This harmful fat can contribute to the hardening of your arteries, as well as a high total cholesterol level. Over time, a diet high in saturated fats can elevate your risk of heart disease and stroke, per the American Heart Association (AHA).

Foods high in saturated fats are mostly animal-based products, including eggs, whole milk, butter and processed meats like bacon and sausage as well as red meat like beef, pork and lamb.

The 2010-2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans allow for a maximum of 10 percent of your total calories to come from saturated fat. However, if you need to lower your cholesterol, the AHA sets a limit of 5 to 6 percent. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this amounts to a maximum of 22 grams of saturated fat if you’re healthy, or just 11 to 13 grams if you’re already at risk for heart disease.

How much fat per day is safe to eat?

Unfortunately, there’s no one “magic” number of grams of fat that works for everyone. But in general, nutritionist Jessica Ash, CNC, founder of Jessica Ash Wellness, recommends getting about 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories from fat. Whitney English, RDN, agrees. “For someone on a 2,000 calorie diet, that would be about 55 to 66 grams of fat a day,” English says.

However, that number is flexible depending on a person’s activity level and overall health. For example, women with hormonal issues sometimes need more or less fat than someone with no health issues. “Fats offer satiety and are the building blocks of hormones—specifically saturated fat and cholesterol. So if there is a hormonal imbalance or hormonal issues then maybe fat intake needs to be a little higher,” says Ash, who specializes in helping women with hormonal imbalances and PCOS.

'I’m a Top Functional Medicine Doctor, and These Are the 16 Healthiest Sources of Fat To Eat'

Even with her recommended guidelines, English tells her clients not to stress about specific macros as much as quality. “Instead of focusing on fat quantity, I encourage clients to focus on fat quality. Fat is so important for so many functions and life stages. For women specifically, consuming an adequate amount and good sources of fat plays a major role in fertility and a healthy pregnancy,” she says. The only group of people that she says may want to make a conscious effort to restrict their fat intake are those with cardiovascular disease.

However, that isn’t to say that we all should be going ham on avocados and nut butter. “Too much of anything is a bad thing. While healthy fats are good for us, they are high in calories and can end up crowding out other important nutrients if people fill up on them,” English says. “I recommend always balancing your meals with a good source of fat, complex carbohydrates, and protein.” Plus, diets that are too high in fat can lead to potential problems such as hormonal imbalances and other health problems 

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