Sunday, 13 January 2013

How much of what do I need and when?



The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences created the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of certain nutrients in 1941 for the purpose of evaluating nutritional intakes of large populations of people. This information was used to prevent nutritional deficiencies by establishing guidelines for nutritional labeling and for setting standards for food assistance programs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established the US RDA for protein, vitamins, and some minerals in 1973. The US RDA had only one value for each nutrient and didn’t differentiate for gender or age. The RDAs were useful for large groups of people, but they weren’t intended to be used for the assessment of any one person’s diet. So, in the 1990s, the board created the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). The DRIs include four different nutritional measurements and can be used to create meal plans and diets for an individual.
The four measurements are

✓ RDAs: Were slightly redefined
✓ Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): Represents the amount of a nutrient that meets the needs of half of the population and is based on strong scientific evidence

✓ Adequate Intake (AI): Similar to the EAR but is more of an estimate for nutrients that don’t have quite as much research available.

✓ Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): The highest amount of a nutrient that can be safely consumed on a daily basis Even though the US RDAs aren’t used anymore, those values became the basis for the Daily Values you see on current Nutrition Facts labels and don’t always correlate with the DRIs. Although the food labels serve as a terrific guide, it’s important to know that any one individual’s nutritional needs may vary.

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