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Calories Vs. Fat Grams

By Kimberly Wilson ; Updated July 18, 2017

With the many diet plans in magazines and on the Internet, basic food choices become understandably confusing. Low fat diet plans ask you to keep track of fat grams while others recommend counting calories. Protein and carbohydrates along with fat give the body calories. While calories serve as the bottom line in weight loss, keep saturated fats at 10 percent of your total calories for good health.


The calorie is actually a measure of how much energy is in food. Efficient with energy, the body saves unused calories in the form of fat. When the body uses calories from food for energy, it is referred to as metabolism. The more active you become, the higher your metabolism will be. Foods all have different amounts of calories, and a calorie counter book helps when you keep track of calories.


Fat has 9 calories per gram, if you know how many grams of fat a food contains, you can multiply grams by 9 to get the calories from fat. The body stores extra calories as fat. When exercising, the body will use calories from carbohydrates first, and then begins to use calories from fat. As well as providing energy, fat insulates the body. If you notice that you feel the cold more after losing weight the reason may be that you have lost your insulation. Fat can seem villainous when it pads hips and tummies excessively, but the body needs some fat to function. The health of hair and skin depends on fat. Vitamins A, D, E, and K cannot be absorbed properly without fat.

Food Labels

Since fat is dense with calories, foods high in fat are likely high in calories. Reading food labels becomes a good habit to determine how many calories you consume along with grams of fat. When reading a label, start with serving size. Serving sizes sometimes are not realistic, making it easy to eat more calories than intended. The label will list the calories next, along with percentage of calories from fat. To determine how many grams of fat you consume in a food, divide percentage of calories from fat by nine.


Foods with a high percentage of fat are not necessarily bad, but eat in small servings to limit caloric intake. Low-fat foods like fruit and vegetables help with weight loss, but not all low-fat foods promote health. Some products advertised as low-fat substitute sugar and other high calorie additives for the fat and making them high in calories.

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