Fats In Our Diet

Every day we eat fats in our diet without even realizing. Peanut butter, salad dressing, margarine, sour cream; it all adds up. How do we count it in so everything isn’t blown way out of proportion?


Let’s look at the numbers…


A general rule of thumb is:

a single serving of fat is 1 tsp of regular margarine, vegetable oil, or butter and 1 tbsp of regular salad dressing.


Unsaturated Fats

Each serving from this group contains 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 45 calories. We should be choosing heart-healthy alternatives from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats more than not.

Monounsaturated Fats    Serving Size


Avocado (medium, 1 oz) 2 T
Nut butters (trans-fat free)  1 1/2 t

Almonds, cashews








4 halves

Oil (canola, olive, peanut) 1 t
Olives (black, ripe) 8 large
! Olives (green, stuffed) 10 large

olives, fats



Polyunsaturated Fats      Serving Size


Margarine (lower-fat spread) 1 T
Margarine (stick, tub or squeeze) 1 t
Mayonnaise (reduced-fat) 1 T
Mayonnaise (regular) 1 t
Oil (corn, cottonseed, flaxseed,       grapeseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower) 1 t
! Salad dressing (reduced-fat) 2 T
! Salad dressing (regular0 1 t


Saturated Fats               Serving Size


Bacon (cooked, regular or turkey) 1 slice
Butter 1 t
Cream( half and half) 2 T
Cream cheese (reduced-fat) 1 1/2 T
Cream cheese (regular) 1 T
Sour cream (reduced-fat or light) 3 T
Sour cream (regular) 2 T



Some of the fats have been included in other posts, like bacon in the meat and protein post. I know sometimes I feel like this little guy when I eat bacon. Even though we would love to eat that whole pound, we have to watch our fat intake and limit the number of slices we eat.


I love Ranch Salad dressing. All us Southern Girls think the only thing better than Ranch Dressing is more of it. We put Ranch Dressing on Ranch Dressing. One way I have found to cut the fats in my Ranch Dressing is to make my own.

I mix together:

5 tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoons parsley flakes
4 teaspoons salt (I use no-salt to limit the sodium intake)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
and store it in a mason jar in my pantry.
When I need to make Ranch dressing I mix together 2 T of the Ranch Dressing mix with:
1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup skim or 2% milk (if you want to make it buttermilk, just add 1/2 T apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes).
Mix this all together and you have a very nice low-fat Ranch Dressing.
Please share some of your recipes for low-fat cooking with us in the comments below.
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