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Eat fat! Really it’s okay.


Posted on May 21st, 2010 by Jeff Thiboutot M.S.

If you are following a low carb diet then you should be eating a high amount of fat, relative to the other two macronutrients. Fat should make up 40-60% of your calories. The amount will vary depending on the carb intake you are shooting for. Here is an example;

  • Total calorie intake 1,500
  • Carbs @ 20% = 75 grams
  • Protein @ 30% = 112 grams
  • Fats @ 50%, which is the balanced left over = 83 grams

I think the following helps to visualize the relative macronutrient intakes. Protein should stay about the same while the carbs and fats vary. In fact, you should figure out your protein needs first. A protein intake of about 1.5g/kg (.7g/lb) is a good place to start.  As carbs or fats go up the other one should go down.

Here is a low carb view

Here is a high carb view

If you are eating a low carb diet make sure you are eating some good fats, such as whole eggs, dark meats, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut, and olives. You still need to be aware of the amounts, but these foods should be part of  your regular diet. These foods not only have some good fats and taste good but are also loaded with many health promoting nutrients. Bon appetit.

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2 Responses to “Eat fat! Really it’s okay.”

  1. Erin says:

    but whyyyyy

    • Jeff Thiboutot M.S. says:

      Hi Erin, Thanks for the question. I have to say your question is a bit vague, but I will assume you are asking “why eat more fat instead of less” As I mentioned in the post, when someone is eating a low carbohydrate diet, they will need to eat a higher amount, both absolute and percentage, of fat. If you are eating less carbs then you have to get your calories from somewhere, so after getting the correct amount of protein, the rest of the calories need to come from fat. Your “why” may be regarding “why eat a low carb/high fat diet” in general. There are many potential health benefits. Look through our other posts and read our book SPEED to learn more about that topic. Also, the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, nmsociety.org, has some good articles on the subject.

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