Most recent research now shows the importance of dietary fat in causing increases in body fat. National health targets recommend a reduction in the contribution of fat as a proportion of daily energy intake in adults to 30 per cent. This is a conservative recommendation and takes into consideration what is realistic for individuals to achieve. Currently, fat contributes around 30-40 per cent of daily energy in most Western countries. To reduce fat to around 25 per cent of daily energy would require a fat intake of around 30-50g for most women and children; 40-60g for men; 70g for active teenagers and very active adults, and 80-100g for labourers or endurance athletes. Individuals with greater energy expenditures can obviously consume more fat and still be below the national target. Given what may be required for fat loss and available foods, a readily achievable and ‘user-friendly’ recommendation is to set the daily goal for fat intake at around 30-40g. This is considerably less than the latest figures on mean dietary fat intake, which are at 93 and 74 grams per day for Australian men and women respectively.


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