Fat is a macronutrient. In food labeling it is considered to be all edible plant and animal solid fats and oils, as well as cholesterol. Fats in food labeling provide nine Calories per gram though the value is closer to 8.8 (and some fatty acids are poorly metabolized, possibly contributing fewer Calories).

Health considerations

Dietary fat is essential for absorption of certain vitamins and as sources of essential fatty acids which the body cannot produce naturally. Different types of fats are associated with different health effects. See: Trans fats, Saturated fats, Polyunsaturated fats, Monounsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids.

Keep in mind

Health agencies recommend adults in general consume 20% to 35% of their daily Calories from fat (infants and children have higher requirements). Trans fat intake is encouraged to be kept at a minimum, and there are recommended maximum intakes of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.

May be found in

Animal and plant sources, including avocado, oils, butter, milk.


Institute of Medicine

See: Trans fatsSaturated fatsPolyunsaturated fatsMonounsaturated fatsOmega-3 fatty acidsOmega-6 fatty acids.


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