Dietary fat has gotten a bad reputation. Low-fat, reduced fat, and fat-free foods are marketed as being heathier for us. Some are, and some aren’t. But the fact is, your body needs fat to survive. Fat, along with protein and carbohydrates, provides energy in the form of calories. It also works to store extra calories, maintain healthy skin and hair, and insulate the body. However, eating too much fat can lead to obesity and extra weight and raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.
But not all fats are the same. Although we need fat in our diet, we should eat fats in moderation and choose them wisely: some fats are “good,” while others are “bad.” Here’s what you need to know:
The American Heart Association recommends cutting back on trans fat and making saturated fat only 5% to 6% of total daily calories. For example, if you eat about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of these calories should come from saturated fat. That’s about 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
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