I have a long list of questions I’m asked all the time, but they are hard to answer. Last week I was asked – for what seemed the umpteenth time—another question that I’m adding to my list: “How much fat should I eat?”
The answer, as you may have guessed, is “It depends.” Or, sometimes, the equally vague “As little as possible.” That’s because specific recommendations for the amount of fat intake are often expressed as a percentage of calories—as in, “No more than 25% of your calories should come from fat.” For most people that’s not terribly useful, since it requires that they a) know how many calories they should be eating; b) multiply that number by 25% to figure out how many calories from fat they should be eating; and finally, c) divide the answer obtained in step b by 9 (since there are 9 calories in a gram of fat) to figure out how many fat grams they should eat per day.
If you want to try figure all that out, it’s up to you—but I think there’s an easier way.
Rather than focusing on a specific target and counting your daily fat grams, you can just follow these guidelines for a low-fat diet instead. If you do, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll be in the ballpark of “25% of calories from fat”—and there’s no calculator required.