Quick counts of fat intake percentages


April 14, 1992|By Dr. Simeon Margolis | Dr. Simeon Margolis,Contributing Writer

Q: More and more articles recommend that total fat intake should be 30 percent or less of total calories. Can you suggest a simple way to determine how much fat I can eat and yet stay within these guidelines?

A: This simple calculation is suggested by Dr. Kristen McNutt:

For the purpose of illustration, let us suppose your average caloric intake is 2,100 calories daily.

* Cross out the final digit in the number of calories eaten each day. Thus, 2,100 is converted to 210.

* Divide this number by 3.

The resulting number (70) is the largest amount (grams) of fat you can eat each day and still have less than 30 percent of your calories come from fat. Perhaps an even simpler way to estimate how many grams of fat you can eat is to divide your ideal

body weight by two thus, if your ideal weight is 150 pounds and your fat intake is less than 75 grams per day, you will stay below 30 percent of total calories as fat.

That's the easy part. The hard part is applying this formula because you need to use product labels or other ways of determining how many grams of fat are contained in each food you eat.

Dr. Margolis is professor of medicine and biological chemistry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and associate dean for faculty affairs at the school.

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