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Sources of Fat

Published: May 07, 2021

Avocados contain unsaturated fatty acids
Avocados contain unsaturated fatty acids

Fat, in its various forms, is a component of many foods.

There are some obvious sources of fat which are shown in the table below.
Beans, legumes, and whole grain products contain small amounts of fatty acids.  
Vegetables and fruits do not contain significant amounts of fatty acids. Nuts and seeds contain significant amounts of fat.
Recommendations for dietary fat consumption are 20-35 % of total caloric intake.
Keep saturated and trans fats to a minimum, and make sure you consume sufficient omega-3 fatty acids.
To learn more about how much fat is a healthy amount of fat click here.

Fat RDA Type Major source
Unsaturated Oils   Mono unsaturated fatty acids Olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, avocado, olives, some margarines, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains
    Poly unsaturated fatty acids Safflower, sesame, soy, corn, sunflower oil, some margarines, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains
Omega-3 fatty acid Men 1.6g
Women 1.1g
EPA and DHA Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
    Linolenic acid Walnuts, flaxseed, canola, soybean and flax oils, wheat germ
Omega-6 fatty acid Men 17g
Women 12g
Linoleic acid Corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean oils, poultry fat
    Arachidonic acid Meats, poultry, eggs
Saturated fats < 10% of total caloric intake   Whole milk, cream, butter, cream cheese, cheese, fatty beef/pork, coconut, palm and palm kernel oils, many processed foods
Trans fat < 2 g /day   Deep fried foods, vegetable shortening, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastry, crackers, chips, some margarines, imitation cheese, meat and dairy products
Cholesterol < 300mg   Eggs, dairy products, meat, poultry and shellfish.

Related Topics

Food Choices  Nutrients  Fats  Your Body 


Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth