Ask the Dietitian Questions Answered:
What is the minimum % of fat you can safely eat per day to be healthy?
The amount of fat that should be eaten daily is more often given as a percentage of total calories eaten, in general fats should account for about 30% of your calories per day. You should not go below 0.5 g/kg body weight in order to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency. For someone who weighs 150# this would be no less than 34 g of fat per day.
However, when we talk about fat we need to differentiate between saturated and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower disease risk. Foods that are good sources of these healthy fats are oils like olive, canola, sunflower, nuts, seeds and fish.
Saturated fats (butter, cheese, coconut oil, palm oil, beef, sausage, bacon) need to be limited in our diet for everyone and even more limited when we have elevated cholesterol. If you have elevated cholesterol the amount of saturated fat per day should not exceed more than 6% of your total calorie intake, so for a 2000 calorie diet this is 13 g per day.
When it comes to fat intake, what matters the most is the type of fat you eat. Research shows that healthy fats are necessary and beneficial for health.