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Question : My cardiologist has me on a low-saturated fat diet because of my high cholesterol. How does that translate into grams for my Daily Recommended value? I calculated that for a 2000 calorie diet...
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The Trusted Source
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Kathy McManus, M.S., R.D., is the director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Simmons College, completed her Dietetic Internship at Brigham and Women Hospital, and received a Master of Science degree in nutrition from Framingham State College.

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February 14, 2011
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A:

The number of grams of saturated fat can be based on your daily calorie needs.

If you maintain a healthy weight at 2000 calories a day, a good target for your saturated fat is less than 16 grams per day. This is based on 7% of total calories:

2000 x 7% = 140 saturated fat calories

Because there are 9 calories in each gram of fat, we divide 140 saturated fat calories by 9 to get the limit of 15.5 grams.

We use the limit of 7% of calories from saturated fat based on research from the so-called "Mediterranean diet." It is a heart healthy way of eating. This diet has only 7% to 8% of calories from saturated fat.

If you are trying to lose weight or consume fewer total calories, you would need less saturated fat. For example, a 1500 calorie diet would limit saturated fat to less than 12 grams per day using the formula above.

Remember, one of the most potent fats that can affect your cholesterol is trans fat. You should try to avoid all sources of trans fats. They are found in foods with "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil." This includes many margarines, packaged and processed bakery goods, fried foods and some frozen meals.

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