Poly. Mono. Trans. What fat is good for your heart and how much you need can be confusing. For heart health, it’s important to avoid fats that do not occur naturally. These are trans-fats or partially hydrogenated oil. What types of fat and how many grams a woman needs each day is determined by ideal body weight.
Although you should talk with your doctor about your ideal body weight, there are several things you can do to determine what a good weight for your body should be. The first step begins with height. Allow 100 pounds for the first 5 feet in height. For each inch over 5 feet, add 5 pounds. For example, a woman who is 5-foot-4 should weigh about 120 pounds.
Wrap your thumb and second finger around the smallest part of your wrist. They will overlap in a small framed woman, they will touch for an average framed woman and not touch for a large framed woman. Small-framed women should reduce their weight by 10 percent, and large-framed women should increase it by 10 percent. A small-framed woman who is 5-foot-4 would have a good weight of 108 pounds.
Daily Caloric Intake
Once a good weight is determined, you have to take into account the level of regular activity. If a woman does not exercise, multiply the weight by 11. If she exercises 2 to 3 times a week for 20 minutes, multiply the weight by 12; exercising 4 to 5 times a week, multiply by 15. For instance, if the woman who weighs 108 pounds exercises 4 to 5 times a week, she needs 1,620 calories a day to maintain her weight.
Daily Fat Grams
Once you know what your daily recommended calories (DRC) should be to maintain your weight, you can figure out your maximum daily intake of fat. For a woman of average weight, the daily maximum of fat grams (DFG) should be 30 percent. For example, if the DRC is 1,200, the DFG is 40. For a DRC of 1,500, the DFG is 50. For a DRC of 1,800, the DFG is 60. For a DRC of 2,000, the DFG is 67. For a DRC of 2,500, the DFG is 83. For a DRC of 3,000, the DFG is 100.
Types of Fat
Three healthy types of fat occur in food; monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in nut, canola and olive oils. Polyunsaturated fats are in vegetables, nuts and fish. Saturated fats raise the levels of cholesterol in the blood; they come mostly from animal and dairy.