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Live the Pair Up Promise:
Limit Fat in Your Diet

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.

  • Choose lean meats or fish.  Remove the skin and trim the fat off your meats before you cook them.
  • Bake, grill or broil your foods instead of frying them.
  • Shop for fat-free and low-fat dairy products, salad dressing and mayonnaise.
  • Try olive oil or canola oil instead of vegetable oil.
  • Choose egg whites or egg substitute rather than whole eggs.
  • Avoid heavy gravies or sauces that add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. Instead of topping steamed vegetables with cheese sauce, try other options like a sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.
  • Limit the amount of fat (butter, margarine, oil, mayonnaise) you add in cooking or at the table.

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:

  • Get less than 10% of their daily calories from saturated fats.
  • Replace solid fats (like butter, shortening or lard) with oils when possible.
  • Limit foods that contain trans fatty acids (such as hydrogenated oils), and keep total trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
  • Eat fewer than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day.
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.

Make the Pair Up Promise

Make the Pair Up Promise

Add healthy choices, subtract unhealthy things, and multiply the impact. It all adds up to helping prevent kidney disease. Do the Math today.

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Live the Pair Up Promise:
Limit Salt in Your Diet

Limit Salt in Your Diet

Most Americans consume far more sodium (salt) than they need. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend less than 2300 milligrams of sodium a day—the amount of sodium in 1 teaspoon of table salt.

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