How Many Grams of Fat Should You Eat Per Day?

How Many Grams of Fat Should You Eat Per Day?


“Eat fat and get fat.” That’s what mainstream diet “gurus”
used to say not so long ago, back when low-fat diets reigned and low-fat foods crowded the
shelves. Much to obesity researchers’ dismay, though,
the war on fat didn’t stop us from getting fatter and fatter. And so the quest for a “better way” continued. Well, fast forward to today and many people
will tell you the hunt is over. We finally understand the human metabolism
well enough to say that the previous generation of scientists had it all wrong. Backward, actually. “Eat fat and burn fat,” we’re now told. This latest “revelation” has spread through
the health and fitness space like chain lightning, giving rise to its own cottage industry of
high-fat diets, cookbooks, and food products and supplements. Unfortunately, though, this advice is just
as flawed as its antithesis. In fact, and ironically, the exact opposite
happens when you eat fat. Metabolically speaking, when you eat fat,
you gain fat. That’s one of the primary roles of dietary
fat, actually: replenishing body fat stores. But that doesn’t mean that eating makes
you get fatter. Remember that only overeating–consistently
eating more energy than you burn–can do that. But that’s the subject of another video. In this video, we’re going to talk about
what types of fat your body needs and how much of them you should be eating every day. So, let’s start at the top. There are two different types of fat found
in food: Triglycerides and cholesterol Triglycerides comprise the bulk of our daily
fat intake and are found in a wide variety of foods ranging from dairy to nuts, seeds,
meat, and more. Fats can be in liquid (unsaturated) or solid
(saturated) forms, and they help maintain health in many ways: they aid in absorbing
vitamins, they’re used to create various hormones, they keep your skin and hair healthy,
and much more. Cholesterol is scarcer in our diets and is
found mainly in foods like eggs, liver, some fish, butter, and more. It’s a waxy substance present in all cells
of the body, and it’s used to make hormones, vitamin D, and various chemicals that help
you digest your food. Several decades ago, it was believed that
foods that contained cholesterol, like eggs and meat, increased the risk of heart disease. We now know it’s not that simple. Eggs, for instance, have been more or less
exonerated, and research shows that processed meat is associated with high incidence of
heart disease, but red meat per se is not. One of the reasons for this long-standing
confusing is foods that contain cholesterol also often contain saturated fat, which can
increase the risk of heart disease. Another reason has to do with how cholesterol
travels throughout your body. It’s delivered to cells by molecules known
as lipoproteins, which are made out of fat and proteins. There are two kinds of lipoproteins: low-density
lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). When people talk of “bad” cholesterol,
they’re referring to LDL. Research shows that high levels of LDL in
your blood can lead to an accumulation in your arteries, which increases the risk of
heart disease. This is why studies show that foods that can
raise LDL levels, such as fried and processed foods as well as foods with saturated fat,
can increase the risk of heart disease. HDL, on the other hand, is often thought of
as the “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol to your liver, where it is removed
from the body. Let’s now talk triglycerides, which come
in two forms: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fat is found in foods like meat,
dairy products, eggs, coconut oil, bacon fat, and lard. If a fat is solid at room temperature, it’s
a saturated fat. The long-held belief that saturated fat increases
the risk of heart disease has been challenged by recent studies, which has been a boon to
the fad diet industry, not to mention the meat and dairy industries (we’ve seen a
veritable renaissance of meat and dairy consumption). The problem, however, is that the research
used to promote this movement has also been severely criticized by prominent nutrition
and cardiology researchers for various flaws and omissions. These scientists maintain that there is a
strong association between high intake of saturated fats and heart disease and that
we should follow the generally accepted dietary guidelines for saturated fat intake (less
than 10% of daily calories) until we know more. Given the research currently available, I
don’t think we can safely say that all of us, no matter our circumstances or genetic
programming, can eat all the saturated fats we want without any health consequences. Unsaturated fat is found in foods like olive
oil, avocado, nuts, and fish. If a fat is liquid, it’s unsaturated fat. There are two distinct types of unsaturated
fats: monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature
and starts to solidify when it’s cooled, and polyunsaturated fat is liquid at room
temperature and when cooled. Foods high in monounsaturated fat include
canola, olive, and peanut oil, and avocado, and foods high in polyunsaturated fat include
safflower, sesame, and sunflower seeds, corn, and many nuts and their oils. Unlike saturated fat, there’s no controversy
over monounsaturated fat. There’s evidence that it can reduce the
risk of heart disease, and it’s believed to be responsible for some of the health benefits
associated with the Mediterranean diet, which involves eating a lot of olive oil. Polyunsaturated fat, on the other hand, isn’t
as cut-and-dried. The two primary polyunsaturated fats in our
diets are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linolenic acid (LA). ALA is what’s known as an omega-3 fatty
acid and linolenic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. These designations refer to the structure
of the molecules. ALA and LA are the only types of fat that
we must obtain from our diets, because they’re essential to our health and our bodies can’t
produce them. That’s why they’re referred to as essential
fatty acids. That is, you could completely remove saturated
and monounsaturated fat from your diet and survive, but if you were to eliminate ALA
or LA, you would eventually die. LA is converted into several compounds in
the body, including the anti-inflammatory gamma-linolenic acid, as well as the pro-inflammatory
arachidonic acid. It’s an over-simplification to say that
the effects of LA (omega-6) are generally “bad,” and effects of ALA (omega-3) are
generally “good,” but it’s more accurate than inaccurate. ALA can be converted into an omega-3 fatty
acid known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which can be converted into another called
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are also found in high amounts
in fatty fish, which is why people take fish oil supplements (to provide their bodies with
adequate EPA and DHA). A massive amount of research has been done
on EPA and DHA, and it appears that they bestow many, if not all, of the health benefits generally
associated with ALA. If you want to maintain optimal mental and
physical health and well-being, then you want to make sure you’re giving your body enough
EPA and DHA. Now, another type of unsaturated fat that
you should know about is trans fat, which occurs naturally in some meat and dairy foods,
and is manufactured industrially by infusing vegetable oil with hydrogen (producing the
ubiquitous “partially hydrogenated oil” that you find in many processed foods). Trans fat is used primarily to increase the
shelf life and palatability of foods, and is found mostly in junk like fried foods,
baked goods, cake mixes and frostings, ice cream, and more. I’m not one for dietary absolutism, but
there’s little argument at this point that artificial trans fats should be eliminated
entirely from our diets. Studies show that relatively small amounts
of these fats (a couple grams per day) can increase the risk of a whole host of health
problems, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, depression, and more. Alright, now that we have some basic theory
under our belts, let’s talk about how much fat you should actually be eating. You’ve probably heard that you should get
at least 20 to 30% of your daily calories from fat to be healthy, but that’s not necessarily
true. If you’re bulking, for example, and eating
a few thousand calories per day, you definitely don’t need to get 30% of your calories from
fat. A better target for fat intake is about 0.3
grams of fat per pound of fat-free mass per day, which is adequate for maintaining overall
health and leaves plenty of calories for carbs, which are much more important for gaining
muscle and strength than fats (and I’ll make a separate video for that). This comes out to 15 to 20% of total calories
for most of us that work out regularly. You can go higher than that, of course, but
don’t think it’s necessary. Do it if you just like to eat more fat or
know that you feel or do better on a high-fat diet, not because you’re afraid that your
endocrine system is going to fail if you don’t. I should also note that it makes sense to
go higher fat and lower carb if you’re sedentary or very overweight. I also recommend that you get the majority
of your dietary fat from monounsaturated fats, that you keep your saturated fat intake at
or below 10% of daily calories, and that you attention to your EPA/DHA intake. 500 mg of EPA and DHA per day is a bare minimum,
but I like to see intake closer to 2 grams per day for basic health needs and higher
for acute anti-inflammatory needs. So, that’s it for figuring out how much
fat to eat every day. I hope you’ve found this video helpful,
and if you have, please do give it a like so other people can find it more easily. Also, if you want to be notified when my new
videos go live, subscribe to my channel and, uh, you’ll be notified. Thanks and see you in the next video.

73 thoughts on “How Many Grams of Fat Should You Eat Per Day?

  1. .3 grams per pound of lean body mass is really on the low end and kind of unsustainably low in my opinion. Eric Helms and Lyle McDonald suggest that .44 grams per pound of lean body mass is a good target for fats and I think that amount will make a diet much more flexible in terms of food choices. I don't know why Mike always seems to be so restrictive with fats like this I means for a 160 pound guy at 12 percent body fat that's only 42 grams of fat and that's like nothing but hey if it works for you then go for it, I just wanted to through that out there in case someone really doesn't want to eat that little fat, that going higher is just fine.

  2. I also hear some people say in order to lose fat you need to eat it. Advices like doing butter in coffee sucks to my opinion 🙁

  3. good content, but something i have always tried to find a solution for is my back pain during ab exercises. I have to avoid leg raises and crunches because they hurt my back, so I substituted some other exercises for your recommended ones. I really want to be able to do hanging leg raises. Any ideas? I can't find a definitive answer to this and all I came up with is anterior pelvic tilt.

  4. Could you do a video about rep ranges relating to the two different forms of hypertrophy. & why BLS use rep range 4-6 when there are many ppl out there that do other rep range just fine too. Also, why do we only do frequency of once a week for each body part in the BLS routine

  5. Really like this video and your other videos as they always have a lot of good info.
    But one recommendation would be to use a white board or something like that so it is a bit easier to follow with videos like this.

  6. All the high carb low fat vegans: "the fat you eat is the fat you wear"

    All the keto dieters:
    "Eat fat to burn fat"

    Omg

  7. MIke you need to do workout videos !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also what is your One rep Max on the flat bench and other excercises???

    And if i want to gain strength and dont care about muscle shouldn't I just follow a powerlifters workout program??

  8. Hey Mike. Great video!!!

    Quick question, if I've just finished a cut of 8 weeks and want to keep the same sort of physique/condition, should I just adjust my maintenance calories based on my new weight after the cut and then keep eating at that maintenance level of calories? I'd like to keep my condition for a few weeks before starting a muscle building phase

  9. I'm not sure if it's age or some other factor but I certainly fall into the category of people who need more fat. Less than 25% and I feel like shit, with the sweet spot around 32-35%. Granted that applies both to cutting and maintaining. The main reason I've postponed bulking is my disdain for carbs and fear I'll just get fat. I'm 47 so I would naturally put on fat, and it was quite a battle to get down around my current 10-11%.

  10. Great video Mike! I really like at 10:20 where you mention some of us do better on a higher fat diet. With extensive testing myself and logging over 2 years, if I drop below 60g/day of dietary fat, it screws with my hormones, so I try to keep a 40% carb, 30% protein, 30% fat macro breakdown, which keeps my protein and carbs in great ranges pretty much all the time. I can just drop the carbs and protein a bit while cutting and still meet my minimums. Keep up the great videos!!

  11. Great video Mike. I already knew that because I have read your articles but it's good for the others.

    I probably don't need to tell you that you need to do the same with protein.

  12. I think that not all saturated fats are the same. Coconut oil, goat and sheep's (pasture raised)dairy has alot of mct's which are converted to energy differently than heavier animal fats. I feel wonderful on them! I definitely do better from a digestive perspective when I Dont over do carbs and avoid wheat. Some people are fine high carb though, we all seem to have some pretty exclusive gut flora's. Got some of your books as xmas presents this year for friends. Keep it up!

  13. Good stuff, Mike. This is a big challenge for people in nutrition right now. It's disgusting how dietary fat has been demonized to be replaced with GMOs and processed, packaged carbs that humans have been eating for less than 100 years.

    I was grossly under eating fat throughout college. When I dropped starchy carbs and upped my fat to at least 60% of my daily caloric intake (80% on some days), testosterone went up, blood glucose levels improved, libido increased, I experienced less brain fog, lost my cravings for sugar, etc… Life is good when you allow healthy fat to feed your GUT and BRAIN AND I PROMISE YOU….Aesthetics always improve when you eat for health. There are no magic macronutrient ratios.

  14. I have problem gaining weight please help how much should I eat a day I wanna put on more weight but I just started eating healthy and it's hard looking for answers.

  15. I have 8 eggs fried with a table spoon of olive oil. Am i doing it good for burning fat im 100 kg. I am trying it these days and doing it with intermittent fasting

  16. I was gonna skip this video but then I saw your face. Very educational video Mike, do you have an IG? so I can follow it and tell my followers to do the same.

  17. Hey Mike. I weigh about 76 kgs right now and workout regularly to build muscle and put on a little bit weight. While doing so I end up eating 100 gms of peanut butter which is having 50 gms of fats. It doesn't state what type of fats they are but it has 0 trans fats so I assume majority of those 50 gms is saturated fats. I don't eat food items containing trans fats at all but I do drink cow milk as well adding more saturated fats. I worry that my overall saturated fats are getting too high. What would you suggest

  18. One of the best videos in explaining fats, I am a personal trainer and I am not exaggerating. Keep it up and real

  19. So I eat 1/2 avocado, 1tbs coconut oil, 1tbs olive oil hand full of pumpkin seeds and 6 brazil nuts 5 days a week. is too much for one day?

  20. How on earth do you remember all that? Great video by the way. Do other videos.
    Edit: I just read your description.Now I know how you remember it all that.

  21. Animal fats are the only fat we have had to eat, for tens of thousands of years, until, they found out how to squeeze oil out of seeds. So how did we reach the conclusion that one of our most ancient and sought after foods, is suddenly, dangerous to our health?

  22. Thanks for great info. What do I think about grass fed tallow? Good fat? Could I just do that for my daily fat intake?

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