Eating Well As You Get Older

Frequently Asked Questions

17. Is it okay to eat some fat?

Yes. It is okay to eat some fats. In fact, your body needs some fats for energy and for healthy organs, skin, and hair. Fats also help your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats are also needed to provide essential fatty acids, which your body cannot make on its own.

On the other hand, fat contains more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates, and eating too many high-fat foods will likely add excess calories and lead to weight gain. Excess weight increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.

Reduce solid fats and replace with liquid oils, such as olive oil and canola oil, where possible. Aim to limit total fats to 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories. For instance, if you eat and drink 2,000 calories daily, only 400 to 700 of the calories should be from fats. The number of calories from fat in a serving of packaged foods is listed on the Nutrition Facts label of the package.