Fat is an essential component of your diet: it’s needed for energy and for many body functions, such as cell growth and hormone production, and it helps you absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Plus, fat adds flavor to meals and—because it takes longer to digest—keeps you feeling fuller longer. But it is important to choose healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats, which raise ("bad") LDL cholesterol. That means choosing olives, avocados, nuts and seeds (all rich in healthy unsaturated fats) over solid fats, such as butter, lard and margarine. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting your total fat intake to between 20 and 35 percent of your total calories each day, with less than 10 percent of calories coming from saturated fats. This means for a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, you should aim for 44 to 78 grams of total fat, with less than 22 grams of saturated fat per day.