How can I cut the fat in my diet?

Both the meat and cheese in this burger are high in fat.

Eating fat gives you energy and works with other nutrients that you eat, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, to nourish your body.

Most Americans eat too much fat, which increases the risk of being overweight, having high blood pressure, and developing heart disease. Research has shown that eating foods high in fat can clog and narrow arteries and lead to heart disease. This is especially true for saturated fats - the kind that are solid at room temperature, such as butter or lard. Because having high blood pressure puts you at greater risk for heart disease, it's especially important for you to eat foods and meals that are low in total fat and saturated fat.

Which foods have fat?

Fat is found in:
  • baked goods, such as donuts, cakes, and muffins
  • butter
  • margarine
  • fried foods
  • oil
  • meats and poultry with the skin
  • cheese
  • whole milk

Try to limit your servings of these foods.

How much is a serving of fat?

Always measure fats with measuring spoons. Don't guess!

Each of these equals 1 serving of fat:

  • 1 Tbsp. salad dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. light salad dressing
  • 1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. margarine
  • 1 tsp. oil or butter
  • 6 peanuts
On the next page, learn how to monitor your fat intake.