Fat Intake Calculator

Use this calculator to estimate the fat intake per day you need to keep your weight stable, or to gain or lose weight, depending on how much of your daily caloric intake you want to come from fats.

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* where the calculator states "calories" it is actually "kCal", or kilocalories. Common usage, however, shortened "kilocalories" to "calories" so we are adhering to that convention.

How to use the fat intake calculator?

This fat intake calculator estimates your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and based on it calculates how much fat you need to consume in ounces or grams, and their calorie equivalent, depending on your preferred percentage of fats in your total calorie intake.

To calculate your calorie needs, we need to provide your age, gender, height, weight and level of phyisical activity. The final piece of information needed is the percentage of total calories that you want to derive from fats. For reference, you can check a list of fats in common diets below. The fat intake calculator will display the amount (in ounces or grams) and caloric equivalent of the fats you need to eat per day. You can then structure your daily diet using this information.

What are fats?

In proper medical terms, fats are only a subset of lipids, but in common language the word "fats" is often used instead of "lipids". Lipids are a category of macronutrients consisting of oils, fats and waxes. An easy way to tell one from the other is that oils are liquid at room temperature whereas fats remain solid. Most lipids that we consume come in the form of triacyglycerols. In the diet of the typical American fats from plant sources are about 34% of all, while lipids from animal origin comprise the other 66%.

Fats are further divided into saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fats are plentiful in beef, lamb, pork, chicken, egg yolk. They are also present in cream, milk, butter and different cheeses. Some plant-based products also include fats, like coconut oil, palm oil, margarine. You can encounter them in most commercially made cakes, pies, cookies, etc. Unsaturated fats are encountered in canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, almonds, pecans, and avocados. Polysaturated fatty acids are found in safflower, sunflower, soybean, and corn oil. Note that in our fat calories calculator we do not give advice on how to balance the different types of fats (lipids), just an overall estimation.

Lipids (fats) are transported in the blood by lipoproteins, also known as cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins are known as "bad cholesterol" since it tends to deposit in cells located comprising the arterial wall. You can affect your "bad cholesterol" blood levels through regular exercise, by controlling your visceral fat accumulation and by adjusting your diet composition. High-density lipoprotein, so-called "good cholesterol" acts in the reverse manner - it helps remove cholesterol from cells in the arterial wall. That cholesterol is then transported to the liver, from where it is finally excreted as waste.

Trans-fatty acids are basically the unwanted fat in your body. It is derived as result of the hydrogenation of unsaturated corn, soybean, and sunflower oil. The richest trans-fat sources include margarines, crackers, cookies, snacks, fried foods, dressings, many baked foods. These should be avoided due to health consequences, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as regulators in other countries, have taken measures to reduce the amount of trans-fatty acids in different commercial foods. One of the ill effects of consuming trans-fatty acids is the reduction of beneficial HDL cholesterol in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease.

Yet, fats are an essential nutrient, so when using our fat intake calculator make sure to not calculate for a too low percentage of fat calories. The role of fats in your body is as an energy reserve, as a transport medium for some fat-soluble vitamins. Eating fats also suppresses the hunger reflex. Fats also protect your vital organs and provide thermal insulation, vital in colder conditions.

Fats are also essential to an exercise diet, as they contribute to the energy required during physical exertion. This happens from the fat storage sites and also in the form of free fatty acids (FFA) bound to blood albumin that are delivered to the muscles. Some fats are stored in the muscles themselves. Usually, during the first hour of exercise fats contribute about 50% of the energy, increasing to 70% in the third hour.

Foods with high fat content

Dietary sources of fats vary considerably. Here are some foods with high fat content:

Foods with high fat content
FoodFat typeFat content (%)
Coconut oil high saturated 91%
Palm kernel oil high saturated 82%
Butter high saturated 68%
Cream cheese high saturated 57%
Palm oil high saturated 51%
Mozzarella cheese high saturated 41%
Cheesecake high saturated 32%
Black olives high monosaturated 80%
Olive oil high monosaturated 75%
Almond oil high monosaturated 70%
Canola oil high monosaturated 61%
Avocados high monosaturated 51%
Cashews (dry roasted) high monosaturated 42%
Peanut butter high monosaturated 39%
Chocolate, mints low saturated 10%
Beef, dried low saturated 9%
Pancakes low saturated 8%
Chicken breast, roasted low saturated 6%
Milk, cream low saturated 4%
Safflower oil high polyunsaturated 77%
Sunflower oil high polyunsaturated 70%
Corn oil high polyunsaturated 58%
Walnuts (dry) high polyunsaturated 51%
Sunflower seed high polyunsaturated 47%
Margarine, corn oil high polyunsaturated 45%
Canola oil high polyunsaturated 32%
Sesame seeds high polyunsaturated 31%
Tofu high polyunsaturated 27%
Butter high polyunsaturated 6%

As you can see fat content can vary greatly between foods, and the same type of food can contain more than one type of fatty acids (e.g. butter).

How much fats do you need? Optimal fat intake

Moderate consumption of fats is recommended to achieve good health. Too high or too low percentage of lipids in the diet have adverse health effects. Most health professionals recommend that fats constitute at most 30% of your diet, of which no less than 70% should be unsaturated fat. Several polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid (in cooking oil and salad oil), is an essential nutrient as they are precursors of essential fatty acids (an omega-6 fatty acid that the body itself cannot produce). Fish and different oils are a great source.

In terms of cholesterol, there issue of a recommendation for dietary cholesterol remains controversial. An American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology report concluded there isn’t scientific evidence to show limiting it would reduce the artery-clogging LDL cholesterol in the blood. Others disagree and cite newer evidence that suggest a positive impact from reducing LDL. In previous guidelines, Americans were told to limit dietary cholesterol to 100 mg per 1000 calories consumed, or about 300 mg per day.

Fat in common diets

Our fat intake calculator allows you to specify any percentage of fat from your total daily calories. Here are some references from popular diets to serve as reference points.

Fats in common diets
DietFats
High Carb 15%
DASH Diet 18%
Moderate Diet 25%
Zone Diet 30%
Low Carb 30%
Keto Diet 75%

Weight loss by reducing fats in the diet

Since the energy requirements of various metabolic pathways make it particularly efficient for the body to convert excess calories from dietary lipids to fat in fat depos, it is recommended to consider limiting the amount of fat consumed when the goal is losing weight. Using the above calculator, you can estimate the required fat intake at different percentages that fat contributes to total daily energy.

Drastically reducing the amount of fat is not recommended, and in all cases it is advisable to consult a nutritionist or physician who is familiar with your overall condition and medical history, before any significant dietary intervention.

Cite this calculator & page

If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Fat Intake Calculator", [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/fat-intake-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 27 May, 2019].