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How Much Fat Do You Need to Be Healthy?

How Much Fat Do You Need for HealthIt may be a consideration that you never thought through before, but just how much fat do you need each day? Many of us go through our eating each day and never think that we need fat in order to be healthy. If we try to lose weight, we often try to avoid fat because we believe that this is what leads to the problems in the first place.

Though too much of the wrong kind of fat can certainly be a problem, the right kind of fat is a necessity. You do need fat to help your body operate at full capacity and function properly. You need the right type of fat to be your best, but you should always include it each and every day. Learning how to get that is essential in the big picture.

So how much fat do you need, and what constitutes the right types? This is a question that so many of us need to consider for our long-term health. You want to start by understanding how many calories you need to function properly and to lose weight. Sure, you may need to cut down a bit, but never to any extreme measures. As a general rule of thumb, you want to opt for about 20 to 35 percent of your calorie intake coming from fat directly. That gives you a general guideline, but the specific target depends on your calorie count overall. Your gender, age, body makeup, activity level, and general health will help you to determine if you need 1000 calories, 1500 calories, or more than 2000 calories—but think of that percentage for the fat intake overall.

You Need Good Fats Each Day

So as you think about how much fat do you need to be healthy and fit, realize that it must also come from the right sources. Let’s take a typical 1400-calorie-per-day diet, which may be low or high depending on your individual health and body constitution. You would want to opt for about 36 to 62 grams of fat. This should, however, come from sources known as “good fats.” Rather than eating saturated fat or trans fat, which offer no nutritional value, you want good fats that come from a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. That includes foods such as salmon and tuna, avocado, walnuts and almonds, flaxseed, and olive oil.

So, if you are wondering how much fat do you need each day, you want to look at the big picture. Your body needs fat just as it needs protein, the right type of complex carbohydrates, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Never avoid fat or any of the food groups, and aim for that 20 to 35 percent of your intake coming from the right types of fat each day. If you can think through this and opt for good fats that give you all the right nutritional value, then you will be fine. This is how you lose weight the right way–and also how you work toward longevity and better health that will protect you well into the future.


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