Fat Facts for Kids

A Picture of Foods with Fats
  • Name: Fat, Fats
  • Type of Food: Nutrient
  • Sources: Meat and Vegetables
  • Energy Produced: 37 (kilojoules) per gram
  • Purpose: Provide energy, warmth and support cell
  • Male Dietary Needs: Between 30% and 35% of daily calories
  • Male Dietary Needs: Between 30% and 35% of daily calories

17 Fat Facts for Kids

  1. Fat is one of the three main macronutrients required by humans to properly grow and function.
  2. Fats are important to the human body; they provide energy and support the growth of cells. Fats also help keep your body warm, protects organs, helps absorb nutrients and assist in the production of hormones.
  3. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommendations from the USDA and HHS states that between 20% and 35% of your daily calories should come from fats.
  4. Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, if you’re eating 2,500 calories a day, between 500 and 875 of those calories should come from fats.
  5. Diets with more fat that recommended can result in weight gain, and ultimately obesity.
  6. There are four fats in the food we consume, and they are saturated, trans, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
  7. Foods with saturated fat are meats (beef, pork, lamb, veal and poultry skin), processed meats (hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, etc.), dairy products and baked goods.
  8. Foods with trans fat contain hydrogenated oils, like shortening, margarine (solid), coffee creamer (both solid and liquid) and prepackaged snacks.
  9. Foods with monounsaturated fat are plant-based, like avocados and oils (canola, olive or peanut).
  10. Foods with polyunsaturated fat are plant-based, like corn, nuts and soybeans.
  11. Polyunsaturated fat is very important to your body, it’s an essential fat because your body cannot make it.
  12. Monounsaturated fat can help improve your cholesterol level, which ultimately decreases the risk for many different cardiovascular diseases.
  13. Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are considered healthy when eaten in moderation.
  14. Fats are calories-dense, and a gram of fat contains twice as many calories as proteins and carbohydrates.
  15. To understand the calorie density of fats just look at a one teaspoon of butter compare to broccoli. One teaspoon of butter contains 45 calories, while one cup of broccoli contains only 31 calories.
  16. Another way to understand the density of calories is to compare one cup of butter to one cup of asparagus. One cup of butter contains a massive 1,627 calories, while one cup of asparagus contains only 27 calories.
  17. Fats can contribute to weight gain because such a small amount of food can contain a lot of calories. This enables you to eat large amounts of calorie dense food and not even feel full.

Additional Resources on Fats

  • Fats and Cholesterol – Learn more about fats and cholesterol on the Harvard University website.
  • Facts About Fat – Discover more cool facts about fat on the EUFIC website.
  • Health Benefits of Fat – Find out the health benefits of carbohydrates on the Eat for Health website.
  • Fat – Wikipedia – Read more about fats, its history and other facts on the Wikipedia website.