Fats are an essential nutrient and your body needs fat to work properly. But, too much saturated fat or trans fat can increase your blood cholesterol level and your risk of heart disease.
Listed below are the types of fat found in food.
The chart below shows the recommended amount of total fat and saturated fat at various calorie levels.
* 25 to 35 percent of total calories
** 5 to 6 percent of total calories
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
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If you have heart disease or several risk factors for heart disease, you need to reduce your saturated fat to five to six percent of your total calories.
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (butter or stick margarine). Trans fats make these solid.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (oils).
Whenever possible, replace saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Because butter is rich in both saturated fat and cholesterol, it could raise your cholesterol levels. Most margarine is made from vegetable fat and provides no dietary cholesterol. Select margarines that do not contain trans fats.