How much fat do we consume a day?

Americans tend to consume more calories and fat per day than most countries. A lot of this is due to our plethora of fast food establishments and the sheer amount of convenience food that we rely on each day. Researchers found that the average American (~2005-2008) consumed around 75 grams of fat per day. This was a decrease from the average of 86 grams per day in 1977-88. However, the type of fat consumed when we eat out is primarily saturated fat, found in red meat, dairy products and butter. So, as a dietitian, one of my goals for patients is to not only reduce their total intake of fat per day, but also change the type of fat that they normally consume. I encourage patients to limit saturated fats and choose more monounsaturated fats. These fats can be found in canola or olive oil, avocado, natural peanut butter and salmon. I also encourage patients to eat out less and focus on planning ahead, going grocery shopping and then eating at home. By planning meals and preparing them at home, my patients can more easily cut the fat out and reduce their overall calorie intake. This is super helpful if they are watching their weight and trying to improve their cholesterol levels. I remind them to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store when shopping and to choose natural products like lean meats, low fat dairy products, beans, whole grains, and fresh produce when possible. Moving towards a plant based diet can really help my patients live longer, healthier lives.

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