How to Calculate the Fat Percentage in Daily Food Intake

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To see whether your diet provides the right ratios and kinds of fats you need, keep a food diary and either check the food labels or look up each food on the USDA National Food Database. Learn how to track your fats with this free video on nutritional calculations.

Part of the Video Series: Nutritional Calculations
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Charlotte Lawson, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. I'm going to help you calculate the amount of fat percentage in your daily intake. If you're really trying to look at your different nutrient components, as far as what types of calories you're consuming or what macro nutrients your calories make up, you really want to look at keeping a food diary. This is going to help you look into the types of foods you're eating as well as the amounts. Now, the easiest way to do this is really utilizing and online database such as mypyramidtracker.gov or the USDA National Food Database and you can easily Google or search any of those titles and those will bring up an excellent program for you. Now, say for instance, you're looking at a nutrition facts label and you want to find out what percentage of those calories comes from fat. Well, I'm going to show you an example here. Fortunately, the nutrition facts label has done some of the math for us. It's calculated the calories from fat as far as our overall calories. So, this now is just going to be simple math. I'm going to use my calculator here and now we want to look at 120 divided by 260. So, I'm taking that calories from the fat and dividing them into the total calories to find the percentage. This here, this product is about four to six percent fat and just almost half. So, to say that it's a healthy product might be a little bit difficult. Ultimately, our daily intake of fat should be around twenty to thirty percent and most of that should be from monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat sources, typically our vegetables like our nuts or seeds or just peanut butter. Or, some other fatty sources like our fatty fish, tuna and salmon also have the healthy fats. So, really when we're looking into our total fat percentage, try avoiding the saturated fat, but keeping it overall low fat diet is always recommended for general healthy well-being. Now again, utilize those online databases such as the USDA National Food Database; I've an example here, this is what it looks like when we go ahead and Google that as well as the mypyramidtracker.gov. This can really personalize and provide you with some excellent detailed information. That's just a little bit of information on your daily recommended needs as far as percentage of fat intake. I'm Charlotte and eat happy.

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