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Essential Recommended Daily Allowances

Hereare the recommended daily allowances and some maximum levels for calories, keynutrients, water,sodium, calcium, vitamins, B-vitaminsand minerals. Included arefoods theyRDA's mean eating a variety of foods can be found in and the amounts they contain.

Calories

Current recommended daily calorie intake (adults):

MenWomen
Safe weight loss2,3002,000
Maintain weight2,5002,200
Active or gain weight2,7002,400

This doesn't take into account the weight of an individual before a calorie controlled diet is started. For this reason the weight loss calorie intake could vary widely.

Key nutrients

The amount of nutrients ingramsper calorie levelto maintain good health.

Key nutrient
CaloriesCarbs (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Fiber (g)
2,000300655030
2,200330715533
2,400360786036
2,600390856539
2,800420917042

Despite high fat intake being linked to many illnesses we do need some as it protects our vital organs and keeps us warm.

Water

  • 8times8 ounces per day
  • 2 liters per day (Europe)

This is just the recommended daily amount and doesn't fully take into account environmental factors and personal activity level. These would all influencetheactual level of fluids required.

Sodium

  • Maximum of 2,400mg per day

Although we do need sodium, especially sports people, the typical western diet has 3 times the maximum recommended levels. See individual labeling for actual content and use the following as a guide:

FoodSodium content
Frozen dinnersHigh
Canned soupsHigh
SaucesHigh
Hot dogsHigh
SardinesHigh
EggsMedium
Peanut butterMedium
BiscuitsMedium
Dry cerealMedium
Canned vegetablesMedium
Fresh meatLow
Instant riceLow
Fresh milkLow
Canned fruitLow
Popcorn (unsalted)Low

Calcium

  • 1,000mg per day

Essential in the young, old, during pregnancy, just about everyone benefitsfrom a goodsupply of calcium. Our diets are shown to contain too little, some good reference sources are:

FoodCalcium (mg)
8 oz. low fat yoghurt350
8 oz. milk (low fat, skimmed or whole)300
1 oz. cheddar cheese204
1 oz. American cheese150
1 oz. mozzarella147
1/2 cup broccoli47
8 oz. orange juice22
1/2 cup peas20
3 oz. tuna10

Vitamins

Apart from vitamin C these are fat soluble vitamins which means the body can store these for longer periods until it needs them.A reference daily intake is still advised:

Vitamin
A (mcg)C (mg)D (mcg)E (mg)K (mcg)
Men90090515120
Women7007551590
Pregnancy7708551590

B-Vitamins

B-Vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble which means they are dissolved in water andas such the body secretes them in urine and sweat. Supplies are quickly exhausted so thethese are the recommendeddailyallowances:

B-Vitamin
B1 (mg)B2 (mg)B3 (mg)B5 (mg)Biotin (mcg)B6 (mg)Folic acid (mcg)B12 (mcg)Choline (mg)
Men1.21.3165301.34002.4550
Women1.11.1145301.34002.4425
Pregnancy1.41.4186301.96002.6450

Otherwise known as...
  • B1 - Thiamine
  • B2 - Riboflavin
  • B3 - Niacin
  • B5 - Pantothenic acid
  • B6 - Pyridoxine
  • B12 - Cobalamin

Minerals

Despite only being needed in the body in tiny amounts they are very important in daily nutrition:

Major Minerals
Potassium (g)Chloride (g)Sodium (g)Phosphorus (g)Magnesium (mg)
Men4.72.31.51400
Women4.72.31.51400
Pregnancy4.72.31.51.3450

Trace Minerals
Zinc (mg)Iron (mg)Iodine (mcg)Selenium (mcg)Chromium (mcg)
Men1581505535
Women15181505525
Pregnancy15271506030

Iron is the most common mineral deficiency and as the table shows women are particularly at risk.Click here formore detailsincludingsymptoms to look out for.

Recommended Daily Allowances overall

The majority of ourrecommended daily allowanceswe can get through our diet if it's well balanced. For certain members of society supplementation may be advisable. These include the elderly, pregnant and those predisposed to certain illnesses like osteoporosis wherecalcium supplementation should be considered. As always see a physician for further advice.









Nutrition during pregnancy

Forinformation about calorieintake and recommended daily allowances during pregnancy click above.













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