How much do you eat each day

How much fat is part of a healthy diet a day?

In addition to carbohydrates and protein, fat is one of the energy-supplying nutrients in food. With 9.3 kilocalories (kcal) or 38.9 kilojoules (kJ) per gram, fat provides the most energy. A very low-fat diet was therefore advocated for a long time. Today we know that healthy fats have a positive effect on our health. So it depends more on the quality of the fat than on the quantity.

How Much Fat a Day?

When it comes to fat consumption, there are extremely different views. While some want to reduce fat as much as possible out of concern about obesity and illness, others want to lose a lot of body weight with low-carbohydrate and therefore high-fat diets (e.g. low-carb diets or ketogenic diets). So how much fat is part of a healthy diet a day?

  • The German Nutrition Societyrecommends not consuming more than 30 percent of your daily energy in the form of fat. For example, for a 30-year-old woman who with her light physical activity - an office job and little physical activity - only has a daily energy requirement of 1,800 calories 58 grams of fat. For orientation: this is, for example, about 3 tablespoons of oil + 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine + 2 slices of cheese + 1 egg.
  • A balanced fat intake has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism. Those who eat a lot of fat have a high energy intake at the same time increased risk of being overweight to become.

Not all fat is the same

Fatty acids are an essential component of fats. There are three different types:

  1. Saturated fatty acids:
    Our body can produce saturated fatty acids itself. However, they are rather unsuitable as part of the diet because they increase the cholesterol level. Saturated fatty acids are particularly found in animal foods (e.g. in butter, high-fat sausages, cheese), but also in high-fat confectionery and in the vegetable fats coconut oil and palm oil.
  2. Monounsaturated fatty acids:
    Monounsaturated fatty acids have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. Olive oil and canola oil are good sources.
  3. Polyunsaturated fatty acids:
    Polyunsaturated fatty acids can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks. The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important.
    Two of these fatty acids are "essential", which means that they are essential for life. Since our body cannot build them up on its own, we have to get these fatty acids with our food. These are the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid and the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
    You should also consume omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a certain proportion: The DGE recommends a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of 5: 1. Contains fatty acids, you should more foods with omega-3 fatty acids eat.
    To do this, give preference to vegetable oils that are rich in Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are such as linseed oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil. Walnuts and flaxseed are also good sources. In addition to ALA, the omega-3 fatty acids also include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Good food sources for EPA and DHA are marine fish, especially high-fat species such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovies or tuna.

Recommendation: Ideally, eat more plant-based and less animal-based foods and prefer vegetable oils. Then you automatically consume less saturated and more unsaturated fatty acids. Rapeseed and olive oil are particularly recommended and all-round talents in the kitchen. Nut oils are also good choices. You can find out which fat is best for what here.

Everyday tips for the menu

  1. If you're using about 2 teaspoons of spreadable fat and about 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil a day, you're right. If you use high-fat animal foods such as sausage and cheese sparingly, you can also be a little more generous with oil.
  2. Measure fats and oils with a spoon if possible so that you get a feel for the amount.
  3. Use a maximum of one teaspoon of spreadable fat per slice of bread. Butter and margarine are equally suitable as spreadable fat. However, if you have high cholesterol, you should prefer margarine with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Basically, it is advisable to compare the nutritional values ​​of different margarines before buying - the respective fatty acid contents are indicated on the packaging.
  4. Occasionally do without the spreadable fat, e.g. with creamy spreads such as cream cheese or quark and with high-fat sausages. Or try a few drops of olive oil or some mustard instead of spread fat!
  5. Watch out for hidden fats! Some processed foods are made up of a large amount of fat without your looking at it. With around 40 percent fat, potato chips are among the front runners, salami and liver sausage consist of around a third of fat. But milk coffee or latte macchiato are also not to be underestimated as sources of fat - several cups a day accumulate quite a bit of fat.
  6. In particular, limit the consumption of sweet baked goods, French fries, fast food products and (fried) snacks. In addition to a lot of fat, these can also contain trans fatty acids, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  7. Oily sea fish has a special position because of its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. The German Nutrition Society recommends eating one or two servings of fish per week, including a 70g serving of high-fat sea fish such as herring, mackerel or salmon.

Edible oils - which are suitable for what?

Which edible oils are suitable for cooking, frying, baking? Which ones for salads and desserts? How do I recognize good oils? We have summarized what you should know about oils in a separate article here for you.

This content was created by the joint editorial team in cooperation with the consumer centers North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen for the network of consumer centers in Germany.