Watching your intake of both fat and dietary cholesterol is one of the most important dietary measures. Both factors can greatly contribute to the rise in blood pressure and blood cholesterol, increasing your chances of heart disease. With total fat, try to keep your intake no higher than 25 percent of your daily caloric intake. That means that a 2,000 calorie diet should have no more than 500 calories from fat. Olive oil, canola oil, nuts and seeds contain monounsaturated fats, which are considered "good" fats, but should be included in the 25 percent.
Trans fat and saturated fat are a different story, so reduce your intake to less than 1 percent and 7 percent, respectively. To use the same example, a 2,000 calorie diet should contain no more than 20 calories of trans fat and 140 calories from saturated fat. Foods like butter, milk, cheese and meat contain saturated fat. Trans fat is found in partially hydrogenated oils, used in cookies, cakes, crackers, chips and fried foods.
As you limit the amount of fat in your diet, try to do the same with your cholesterol. Between 200 and 300 mg is a good goal for dietary cholesterol, so limit the amount of meat, eggs and dairy you consume each day.