While the word "fats" instantly makes us think about junk food and bad eating habits, the truth is that fats are actually critical to our existence. This daily fat intake calculator will help you estimate how much fat you should consume daily to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Keep reading to learn more about:
- What are fats;
- The correct daily fat intake
- How to calculate calories from fat; and
- How to use our fat intake calculator.
Knowing how to calculate calories from fat doesn't necessarily mean that you are eating - and living - healthy. For a more comprehensive overview of a balanced diet, head straight to the macronutrients calculator.
What are fats?
Fats, just like proteins and carbohydrates, are macronutrients – elements of food required for the proper functioning of our organisms. Their primary role is to give us energy: 1 gram of fats is equivalent to 9 kcal (calories – see calorie calculator), which makes them invaluable when food is scarce. For comparison, both proteins and carbs contain only 4 kcal per gram.
Apart from being an immediate source of energy, fats have a few more critical functions. They are an energy reserve – if you happen to supply fewer calories than your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), your organism will break up fat tissue for additional calories. The fats also help to regulate the water content of cells and provide essential fatty acids.
Daily fat intake
Unfortunately, no golden rule dictates how much fat you should consume. Our daily fat intake calculator follows the most common guidelines, which say that your diet should consist of 20-35% fats. Naturally, this number is flexible; based on your physical activity or health condition, you might find that a professional dietitian will recommend a different proportion in a personalized diet plan.
Even more important than the amount of fat, though, is the type of fats and oils (collectively known as lipids) that you consume. There are three main groups of fats:
Saturated fats. Your body can produce all the saturated fatty acids it needs, so theoretically, there's no need to include them in your diet. It is difficult to give them up, though, as they occur naturally in the same products as unsaturated fats. Still, we advise minimizing the consumption of some products with a substantial proportion of saturated fats. Such products include dairy fat (for example, full-fat cheese), pizza, and palm oil. You should consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.
Trans fats. These are created during food processing and have a terrible impact on our health. Not only do they drastically increase our LDL cholesterol levels (the "bad" cholesterol), but they also decrease the level of HDL ("good") cholesterol. Ideally, you should avoid consuming any trans fats. Some examples of products with trans fats are chips or crackers. Learn more about cholesterol with our cholesterol ratio calculator.
Unsaturated fats. As opposed to the previous two groups, these fats positively influence our health. They actually decrease our cholesterol levels when they replace saturated and trans fats; to top it off, they can prevent some heart diseases. Sources of these fats include avocados, olives, and nuts.
How to calculate calories from fat?
You can use this daily fat intake calculator to easily convert grams of fat to calories. All you need to do is use the following formula:
1 g = 9 kcal
For example, if you want to determine the energy content of 13 grams of fats, you have to perform the following calculation:
13 g × 9 kcal / g = 117 kcal
13 grams of fats contain 117 calories.
How to use our fat intake calculator
Since your calorie needs vary by gender, age, height, size, and the amount of exercise you do, you need to give our calculator access to all of this information.
First, you need to choose whether you are male or female.
Choose your preferred unit of measurement for your height and weight.
Enter your height, weight, and age.
Choose your activity level.
Now, you will be able to see the number of calories you should consume daily, your total recommended fat intake, and the percentage of saturated fats you should consume.