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  1. Daily Fat Intake
  2. Essential Fatty Acids

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Daily Fat Intake

Daily Fat Intake
Table Of Contents
  1. Fat requirements for athletes
  2. What do athletes need to consider?
  3. Lose Weight
  4. Distribution of Fat Requirements into Fatty Acid Groups
  5. What do vegans need to consider?

In adults, the daily requirement of calories should be covered by about 20 to 35% of fats 1.

The following table illustrates the fat intake according to the daily calorie requirement and the percentage of fat in the total calorie count (1 g of fat = 9.3 kcal):

Calorie requirement20% fat25% fat30% fat35% fat
2,000 kcal 43 g 54 g 65 g 75 g
2,200 kcal 47 g 59 g 71 g 83 g
2,400 kcal 52 g 65 g 77 g 90 g
2,600 kcal 56 g 70 g 84 g 98 g
2,800 kcal 60 g 75 g 90 g 105 g
3,000 kcal 65 g 81 g 97 g 113 g

A fat intake that makes up 30 to 35% of daily calorie requirements is recommended for children aged two to three years. For children and adolescents aged 4 to 18 years, 25 to 35% are considered as guidelines. 2.

Fat requirements for athletes

Physically active people have a higher energy demand. Therefore, fat intake should be in the range of 30 to 35% of total calorie requirements. For endurance athletes, 35% fat is recommended.

Research results show that a low-fat diet (covering less than 20% of calorie requirements from fats) leads to a reduced testosterone level in men. 3.

What do athletes need to consider?

Fats should hardly be consumed before and during exercise. This is due to the very slow digestion as well as possible gastrointestinal complaints and digestive disorders during exercise. In addition, a greater amount of oxygen is required for the complete release of energy from fat, which can be a limiting factor for competitions and training and can reduce performance. It is therefore recommended to consume healthy fats 6 hours before upcoming training sessions.

Lose Weight

When it comes to losing weight and reducing body fat, it is advisable to reduce fat intake since fats are very energy-dense. In addition, more physical activity is recommended so that more calories (in the form of body fat) are burned than consumed.

Distribution of Fat Requirements into Fatty Acid Groups

The international health organizations have not specified which fatty acids should be consumed. However, saturated fatty acids should not exceed 10% of the daily energy requirement 4. There is also no specific recommendation for monounsaturated fatty acids. However, a 15 to 20% share of energy requirements seems realistic 5. The intake recommendations for polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) range from 6 to 10% for adults (11% is recommended for ages 2-18) 6. The upper limit for PUFAs has been set at 11% for adults.

Trans fats, which belong to the unsaturated fatty acids and are mainly found in processed foods and snacks, should not be consumed if possible, as they can have negative health effects.

What do vegans need to consider?

Vegans need to ensure adequate intake of foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids for optimal body function. Healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are only present in a few plant-based foods in significant amounts. The requirement for essential Omega-6 fatty acids is usually met through a vegan diet. However, an unhealthy ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids can lead to health problems. Therefore, plant oils rich in Omega-6 such as safflower oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil should be avoided.