Managing Dietary Fat

How much fat should we eat each day?

Having no more than 20-35% of our daily calories from fat is a healthy intake.  This means about:

  • 45 – 75 grams of total fat each day for women
  • 60 –105 grams of fat each day for men.

The type of fat we consume is just as important – choose the healthy type (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ) more often, and limit the unhealthy type (saturated and trans fats).

How can we manage the fat in our diet?

  • Include a small amount – 30 to 45 mL – (2 to 3 tablespoons) of unsaturated fat each day.  This includes oil used for cooking, salad dressings, margarine and mayonnaise. Read more about fat and oil here.
  • To moderate the amount of fat you eat:
    • Read the Nutrition Facts table on food labels and choose foods lower in fat
    • Look for products with no added trans fats, or ones with the least amount of trans fat.
    • Choose soft margarines that are non-hydrogenated and trans fat free
    • Choose foods that are not fried – if you do fry foods use oils that are higher in monounsaturated fats like canola or olive oil. 
    • When purchasing packaged foods, look for ones with the Health Check symbol
    • When eating out, avoid fried foods and foods in rich sauces. Ask your waiter for nutrition information on menu items.   
    • When eating out, look for restaurant’s menu items that have the Health Check symbol.