Recommended dietary intake of fats

Though fats have a poor reputation, they are in fact a key part of a nutritionally-balanced diet.

Fats allow for the absorption of vitamins, as well as aiding cell growth and healthy organs.

The key is getting a good amount of fat, and getting the right balance of the different types of fats.

Many foods contain a mixture of fats, although some foods have a higher proportion of one type (as listed below).

There are four main types of fats

Saturated fats

Found predominantly in animal products, red meats, butter, cheese, ice cream.

Polyunsaturated fats

Omega 3: Fish (especially mackerel, herring, salmon)

Omega 6: Vegetable oils

Monounsaturated fats

Olive oil, rapeseed oil, nuts, avocados, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds.


In some margarines, commercially baked goods such as biscuits and cakes.

It is recommended that the total fat in a diet is no more than 30% of the calories or 65grams in a 2000 calorie per day diet.

Saturated fats should be limited to 10% of the calorie intake, while transfats should be a maximum of 2% of the dietary intake.

It is the monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown, not only have no adverse but actually some positive effect on cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats, ideally, should make up over a third of the fats consumed.

Polyunsaturated fats, which include omega 3, shown to aid brain function, should constitute 6% of the dietary intake.