Heart-Healthy Eating

If you consume 1,600 calories each day, your daily calories from fat should equal 480 calories -- 53 grams of fat. Your total intake of saturated fat should not exceed 18 grams. Following these guidelines will help you meet the American Heart Association's recommendations, which include limiting your fat intake to 30 percent or less of total calories and limiting your saturated fat intake to 10 percent or less of your total calories.

Calorie and Fat Intake -- 30 Percent Limit
Total Calories
 Total Calories from Fat   Total Fat (gm)   Total Saturated Fat (gm) 
 53  18
 600  67  22
2,200  660  73  24
2,500  750  83  28
 840  93  31
3,200  960  107  35

 Blood Lipid Levels
Lipid    Desirable Level 
Total Blood Cholesterol
  <200 mg/dL
LDL Cholesterol
  <130 mg/dL
HDL Cholesterol
   >35 mg/dL
Blood Triglycerides
   <250 mg/dL

Types and Sources of Fats


  • Two sources -- made by the body and from foods of animal origin only, such as meat, fish, poultry, fish and dairy foods
  • Decreased by low cholesterol/low-fat diet, high-fiber diet, exercise, weight loss, smoking cessation, controlled blood pressure and controlled diabetes

Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) Cholesterol

  • "Bad" blood cholesterol
  • Act like delivery trucks keeping cholesterol in the arteries so it can build up
  • Decreased by low-fat diet, high -fiber diet, weight loss and exercise

High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) Cholesterol

  • "Good" blood cholesterol
  • Act like garbage trucks taking cholesterol away from the arteries to the dump for removal
  • Increased by exercise, weight loss, smoking cessation, and a low-fat diet

Saturated Fats

  • Raises blood cholesterol levels
  • Found in all animal products and vegetable oils, including stick margarine, butter, coconut oil and palm oil

Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA) 

  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • Found in corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and some fish

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA)

  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels and raises HDL cholesterol
  • Found in olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil


  • Form of fat in food
  • May be saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated
  • Raised by excess intake of fat and alcohol
  • Decreased by low-fat diet, weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation and alcohol in moderation