How much fat do you need?

How much fat do you need?

We continue to establish the necessary macronutrients in our diet and it’s your turn to get to know one of the most “infamous”, fats.

Previously we discussed the key factor in diet, and the role of the protein in it.

There’s a lot of confusion about the issue of fat, how it affects the body, diet, and about our goal (losing fat, gaining muscle)…

Will eating fat make you fat?

It is perhaps the greatest myth that exists on this subject.

And the answer is “maybe”… but strictly speaking, No… Eating fat is not fattening, not even a little bit.

What will make you really gain fat will be a surplus of your calorie intake.

In this case, fat will certainly make you fat, but so will carbohydrates, and protein. It’s not the fat from the diet that will influence fat tissue gains, but the excess calories, and these can be calories from ‘good’ as well as ‘forbidden’ foods…

As a rule, people who undertake a calorie surplus, know in advance, or “should” know that they can cover it.


This statement in the language of the sector means that the “6-pack” will say goodbye, or rather, see you soon 🙂

In fact, although it sounds contradictory, eating certain types of fat can be beneficial to help eliminate fat stored in the body, and which we are so eager to remove.

Is fat healthy?

Another question that has been mitigated to the point of satiety, and which also has little science.

Fat is a macronutrient, which possesses a series of very important elements: the Essential Fatty Acids. With that, the question is more than answered.

The question of fats has also been divided, marking two types:

  1. “Good” fats: Monounsaturated, and Polyunsaturated;
  2. “Bads” fats: Trans, Saturated.
Is Saturated Fat really bad? Click on What and Which are the Differences between Saturated and Trans Fat

How much fat do you need?

For most people, the recommendation for the amount of daily fat they need is in roughly the same range:

Between 20-30% of total calories eaten.

The caloric contribution of one gram of fat is 9 calories.

Then, you should simply have a simple calculator, and adjust the “count” you previously had on the calories you need per day, where now, having the data of the ideal calories that correspond to you, simply adjust so that of those, between 20-30% are from fat.

Example: If I need 2800 calories, adjusting the previous percentage, we will have as result, between 560 – 840 calories, which will come from the fat.

What is the recommended range of the percentage of fat to use?

You might ask yourself: how many grams of fat should you choose from the recommended 10% range?

This really does take into account the adjustments you make as you go about making your diet, and follow it for a while.

If necessary, you’d cut back to 20% if you saw rapid weight gain, and increase to 30% to compensate for the shortfall.


However, as a start, an intermediate value of 25% would be optimal.

Foods high in fat

  • Oily Fish
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Linseed
  • Olives
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Cacao
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Eggs

Fat sources

This list is not “definitive”, and does not contain all the foods with recommended fats, but it does make a good approximation, and brings the public closer to certain foods, which if they did not take them before, should now do so daily as a source of fat.

How does fat affect the calorie requirement?

As was seen in the case of protein, it is now practically solved, since unlike protein, where we first had to associate a range of intake, according to our condition, gender, and objective…

With fat, we set a value to maintain, for any person, following the condition of not going below that percentage.

Establish the calories you need for your objective, and apply the percentage rule…

Following the example, how many grams are equivalent to those calories (570 – 840 kcal)? If we look at the calorie intake per gram of fat (9 calories), it turns out that we will have to eat between 60 – 90 grams of fat per day…

What happens if I eat less than 20% of my total calories from fat?

If we risk following a very low fat diet (< 20%) we may eventually experience some of these symptoms:

Poor Vitamin Uptake

Fat-soluble vitamins need fat in order for the body to be able to absorb them.

In this order, vitamins A, D, E and K. They are stored in the liver and adipose tissue, and are essential for a multitude of biological functions, such as being involved in growth, the immune system, cell repair, and blood clotting, among others.


If you don’t eat enough fat, your body will tend to excrete these vitamins, with dire consequences for your health

Mental Illness

A diet that is low in fat, especially one that lacks essential fatty acids, can do some damage to your mental health.

Omega 3 and 6 are the essential fatty acids that the body supplies for cognitive, mood and behavioural functions (especially DHA). They are precursors to a certain amount of hormones produced in the brain.

Some research concludes that a low-fat diet leads to symptoms of depression, and does not allow neurotransmission (cellular communication through electrical impulses) to take place properly. Other symptoms associated with low omega-3 intakes could be bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mental disorders…

Increases Cancer Risk

Types of colon, breast and prostate cancer have some correlation with low essential fatty acid intakes.

Mental health

Increased Cholesterol and Heart Disease Risk

Fats play a regulatory role, although it seems controversial, in the treatment of cholesterol.

If your diet is low in fat, your HDL (‘good’) cholesterol level will be lower. This is completely undesirable, as it directly increases the risk of a heart attack.

HDL ‘collects’ LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) from the blood, where it is transported to the liver for excretion. If the HDL is out of balance with the LDL, the latter tends to increase. Omega-3 acids contribute to increasing HDL.

If you want to know the Properties of the Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids, click here

Low level of Testosterone

Low-fat diets are strongly associated with decreased synthesis of this anabolic hormone.

In particular, cholesterol is one of the substances involved in this process, creating testosterone, thus reducing fat consumption. Saturated fat is the most important for testosterone.

Thus, mono- and polyunsaturated fats also offer benefits, especially because of the essential fatty acids, which are positioned as elements involved in the synthesis of hormones.

Related Entries

Review of What Amount of Fat You Need

How Many - 100%

Calories - 100%

Sources - 100%

Problems with not taking enough - 100%


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About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
"Knowledge Makes Stronger", Javier Colomer's motto, sets out his clearest statement of intentions expressing his knowledge and fitness experience.
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