Fat and Calories

What is fat and are there different types?

Fat is one of the many essential nutrients. When dietary fat is digested, fatty acids are produced.

FatThere are a few different types of fats and not all of them are bad for you. Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products – red meat, lard, butter, poultry with skin and whole milk dairy products. The fats in palm oil and coconut oil are also saturates as are the fats in vegetable margarines which are known as “hydrogenated”. The use of these hydrogenated fats is becoming less common as a high consumption can cause health problems.

Unsaturated fats are the healthier fat type and are often found in foods under two names: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. They tend to be found mainly in products derived from plants, such as most vegetable oils. The inclusion of unsaturated fats in the diet has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.

What does the body need fat for?

Fat transports the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K around the body. Our bodies store fat and use it when we need extra energy. In addition, it protects our organs, aids in the development of cell membranes and hormones, and insulates our bodies.

How much fat does the human body need?

General guidelines for daily fat consumption are to eat no more than 30% of your total calories from fat. Of that 30%, no more than one third, or 10% should be from saturated fats.


A calorie is a measure of energy. The body burns calories and turns them into energy.

How many calories does the human body need?

The amount of energy you need will depend on your age, how active you are and your size or build. Other factors such as being unwell, the temperature of your environment, some hormones and some medications can also affect how much energy you burn.

The Daily recommendation for an average sized man and woman with a moderately active lifestyle are listed below.

Women – 2300

Men – 3000

What is the fat and calorie content of bread?

Bread is not fattening – in fact, it is relatively low in fat and calories. One medium slice of brown bread provides 0.7g of fat and 72 calories, one medium slice of wholemeal bread provides 0.9g of fat and 76 calories, one medium slice of white bread provides 0.6g of fat and 77 calories and one medium slice of seeded bread provides 0.8g of fat and 83 calories.

Gram for gram, carbohydrates contain less than half the calories found in fat. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, while fats have 9. It is adding fat to bread in the form of butter or other full fat spreads (10g of butter contains 74 calories so spreading bread with butter can double the calorie content) which increases the calorie content.