Healthy Carb, Fat and Protein Ranges
The Numbers You Need to Know
-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
"Help, I am way over in protein!"
"I’m not meeting my fat goal. Is this a problem?"
"How many carbohydrates should I be eating?"
Based on years of research that examined the relationship between nutrient intake and disease prevention, generally-accepted ranges have been established for carbohydrates, fat and protein intake. These healthy ranges also help to ensure that a person is getting a sufficient intake of other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The recommendations are:
- 45% to 65% of calories eaten should come from carbohydrates.
- 20% to 35% of calories eaten should come from fat.
- 10% to 35% of calories eaten should come from protein*.
Your intake of carbohydrates, fat and protein may be somewhat higher or lower than the SparkDiet recommendations, due to your taste preferences, cooking style, culture, fitness routine, health conditions and day-to-day changes in diet. Does that mean that your intake is bad or dangerous? No! <pagebreak>
Do your best to meet at least the minimum recommendations for calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein as outlined on your Nutrition Tracker. The table below converts these percentages into grams needed each day based on calorie intake:
|Nutrient||Carbohydrates||Fat||Protein (Women)||Protein (Men)|
|1200 calories||135-195 g||27-47 g||*60-105 g||N/A|
|1500 calories||169-244 g||33-58 g||*60-131 g||*75-131 g|
|1800 calories||203-293 g||40-70 g||*60-158 g||*75-158 g|
|2100 calories||236-341 g||47-82 g||*60-184 g||*75-184 g|
|2400 calories||270-390 g||53-93 g||*60-210 g||*75-210 g|
Monitor your diet in these ways:
- Eat a healthy, nutrient-packed diet.
- Watch your calories daily and try to keep them in your recommended range.
- Check your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake based on your SparkDiet recommendations. As long as they fall in the healthy range listed on this chart above, you will be meeting your nutrient needs.
- Choose whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, and avoid refined carbohydrates like white rice and white bread.
- Choose heart-healthy fats and avoid trans fats found in processed foods.
- Choose high-quality protein sources such as lean meats and plant-based proteins instead of fattier cuts of meat.