A healthy diet has a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, lean meats and beans. Even small changes like limiting fat in your diet can make a big difference in your health.
You need some fat in your diet to stay healthy. Fat gives you energy and helps you use some of the vitamins in your food. But too much fat can lead to weight gain and heart disease. Here are some way to help limit fat in your diet and to choose healthier fats when you can.
Remember, fat-free or reduced-fat food choices aren't always low in calories. They can be high in sugar or other nutrients that increase calories.
Unsaturated fat (olive oil, vegetable oils) can help reduce cholesterol. If you need to lose weight, limit the unsaturated fat you eat. As always, moderation is the key. Too much “good” fat can also cause problems.
Saturated fat, also known as “bad” fat, can raise your cholesterol level and put you at risk for heart disease. Examples of saturated fats include butter, lard, shortening and meats. Limit these fats in your diet. Choose healthier, unsaturated fat instead. Trimming the fat from meat and removing the skin from chicken or turkey can also help limit saturated fat.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend that Americans:
|Age Group||Total Fat Limits|
|Children ages 2 to 3||30% to 40% of total calories|
|Children and adolescents ages 4 to 18||25% to 35% of total calories|
|Adults, ages 19 and older||20% to 35% of total calories|
For more information, visit the page on Dietary Fat from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.