Eating Well As You Get Older

Frequently Asked Questions

19. Which kinds of fat should I limit?

Limit the amount of saturated fats and trans fats you consume. Both can put you at greater risk for heart disease. The Nutrition Facts label gives information about the amount and types of fat contained in a single serving of the packaged food.

(Note: The FDA recently proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts label to reflect the latest scientific information linking diet and chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease. Proposed updates include a new design that better highlights key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.)

Saturated fats are found in red meat, milk products including butter, and palm and coconut oils. Common sources of saturated fat in meals include regular cheese, pizza, grain-based desserts like cookies, cakes, and donuts, and dairy desserts, such as ice cream. Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats.

Processed trans fats are found in stick margarine and vegetable shortening. Trans fats are often used in store-bought baked goods like pastries, crackers, and candy. They are also often used in fried foods at some fast-food restaurants.

Keep intake of trans fats as low as possible. Read the Nutrition Facts label to choose products that contain “0” trans fats. (Trans fats are in the process of being removed from the food supply by the Food and Drug Administration.)