Function: Fat is a concentrated dietary source of energy, providing 9 calories per gram. It supplies essential fatty acids and carries vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat helps the body to use protein and carbohydrate more efficiently. Fat is a component of cell walls and is essential in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. It serves to cushion vital organs and insulate the body.

Daily Amount Needed: To promote dietary patterns that support life-long wellness and disease prevention, SparkPeople uses the nutrient ranges set forth by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, The National Academies. Based on research evidence, this organization recommends that dietary fats make up 20-35% of one’s total calories.

Food Sources: There are 3 types of fats found in food: polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and saturated fat. Food sources in the diet are always a blend of these 3 types.
An Additional Note: When nutrient-rich foods are selected, your SparkPeople macro-nutrient ranges (protein, fat and carbohydrates) help to assure that your complete nutritional needs are met and excessive intake is avoided. These wide ranges also provide greater flexibility in designing meal plans that meet one’s individual preferences. Based on your medical history, medical diagnosis, current condition or exercise/training plan, your nutritional needs may be somewhat different. Consult with your health care team (Physician, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, etc.) for a complete nutritional assessment prior to altering your macro-nutrient ranges.

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