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Recommended Daily Intake of Fat & Calories

by
author image Chelsea Flahive, RDN, LD
Chelsea Flahive is a registered dietitian nutritionist and licensed dietitian with a passion for health and wellness, weight management and disease prevention. She received a Bachelor of Science in human nutrition, foods and exercise from Virginia Tech and completed her dietetic internship through the University of Delaware. Flahive is completing a certificate of training in weight management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Recommended Daily Intake of Fat & Calories
Caloric needs are based on gender, age and physical activity level. Photo Credit Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images

Between 1970 and 2008, the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in American adults. Obesity is linked to an increased risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and premature death. Controlling caloric intake, and fat intake can help with achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Men's Caloric Needs

Recommended Daily Intake of Fat & Calories
Men need more calories than women. Photo Credit shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 provides estimated caloric needs based on age, gender and activity level. Moderately active men need different amounts of calories, depending on their age. Men who are between the ages of 19 and 30 should consume between 2,600 and 2,800 calories per day. Moderately active men between the ages of 31 and 50 need between 2,400 and 2,600 calories per day. Men who are over the age of 51 need between 2,200 and 2,400 calories. Caloric needs may be more or less, depending on your personal activity level.

Women's Caloric Needs

Recommended Daily Intake of Fat & Calories
Women should consume roughly 2,000 calories per day. Photo Credit Warren Goldswain/iStock/Getty Images

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends that women consume an appropriate amount of calories, based on their age and physical activity level. Women who are between the ages of 19 and 30 should consume between 2,000 and 2,200 calories per day if they are moderately active. Women between the ages of 31 and 50 should get 2,000 calories per day. Women who are 51 or older should consume 1,800 calories, if they lead a moderately active lifestyle. Caloric needs may increase or decrease, depending on how active you are.

Fat Intake

Recommended Daily Intake of Fat & Calories
Limiting your fat intake can reduce your risk for chronic disease. Photo Credit Azurita/iStock/Getty Images

Fat provides 9 calories per gram. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends that 20 percent to 35 percent of your total daily calories should come from fat for adults over the age of 19. Limiting your fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of total calories can reduce your risk for chronic disease, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

The Type of Fat Matters

Recommended Daily Intake of Fat & Calories
Dietary fat can come from both animal and plant sources. Photo Credit Lilyana Vynogradova/iStock/Getty Images

Dietary fat is comes from both animal and plant sources. There are four types of fat: saturated, trans fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The type of fat you consume can influence your risk for cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat and trans fat intake is more associated with heart disease and high cholesterol and comes from animal sources of fat. American diets find most of their saturated fat in full-fat cheeses, pizza, dairy-based desserts, chicken, sausage, hot dogs, and bacon. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats come from plant sources of fat and are found in vegetable oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. By only consuming 10 percent of calories from saturated fat and replacing saturated fat in the diet with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, you can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Consuming only 7 percent of calories from saturated fat is associated with even lower risk of heart disease.

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