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Nutritional Guidelines For Fat, Sugar, and Salt

A Daily Look at How Much Fat, Sugar, and Salt You Should Be Eating

You may think your diet is right on track, but do you know how much fat, sugar, and salt you should be eating on an everyday basis? In honor of National Nutrition Month, we're taking a look at the dietary guidelines for some of the sneakiest health spoilers. Learn the recommended daily intake for fat, sugar, and salt based on a 2,000 calories-per-day diet and try to adjust your habits accordingly:

  • Fat: The American Heart Association suggests that people consume 500 to 700 calories from fat each day, somewhere between 56 to 78 grams (or 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories). Don't think of fat as the bad guy, though. Instead, try to eat more healthy fats, found in foods like nuts, avocado, and olive oil. You should also limit your saturated fat intake to less than 16 grams and keep unhealthy trans fats to less than two grams per day.
  • Sugar: It's recommended that women eat 100 calories from added sugars each day, just five percent of their daily diet. Wondering what 100 calories of sugar looks like? About six teaspoons. That may seem like a lot, but sugar tends to turn up in some surprising sources, like bread and yogurt, so educate yourself on the sweet culprits and learn how to cut back on sugar. Since nutrition labels list both naturally occurring and added sugars, check the ingredient list for a more detailed account of which kind of sugars a food item may have; anything containing fruit or dairy will contain natural sugars.
  • Salt: The recommended daily intake of salt is 1,500 milligrams to 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon), depending on your risk factors. Less than you expected? The overconsumption of sodium is linked to high-blood pressure and a range of other health issues, so monitor your salt intake and follow these tips to limit sodium.

Scrutinizing the amount of fat, sugar, and salt in every food you eat isn't realistic, but it's important to learn the proper health guidelines so you can aim for the recommended totals. Not sure where to start? Try checking the labels on some of your favorite foods to kick-start your awareness and tailor your nutrition as needed.

Source: Flickr User Momentcaptured1

Sarah2412264 Sarah2412264 5 years
Actually, U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day.  The recommendation is 1,500 milligrams per day for people aged 51 and older, and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, and African Americans. I eat almost NO processed food and most days my sodium comes out around 1,500 mg., but if you eat any processed foods (including breads, cereals, restaurant meals, frozen foods), chances are you're eating upwards of 3,000 mg./day.
davebrown9 davebrown9 5 years
Thanks to the global obesity epidemic, some academics, at least,  have begun to scrutinize the criteria for determining proper levels of total and saturated fat intake. What they found is that the government's dietary advice lacks a "solid scientific basis."
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