Eating Healthy: Daily Nutrition Guidelines
Dt Sheetal chhabria
Vasanth nagar, Bengaluru May 31, 2019
A healthy and nutritious diet is one of the easiest and the best ways to remain fit and healthy. Nutrition is the science of interpretation of the interaction of the nutrients with growth, maintenance, health, disease, reproduction, etc. Eating healthy and nutritious food in proper amounts can boost one’s physical as well as mental health and prevent malnutrition and various ailments. Hence, it is important to educate oneself and be aware of nutritional guidelines.
Every individual requires different types of nutrients in different amounts, depending on various factors like gender, age, level of physical activity, etc. However, the basic principles of nutrition and the basic guidelines regarding a healthy diet remain the same. Based on years of research, experts have devised daily nutrition guidelines, which an individual should consume for optimal growth and development.
Nutritional guidelines for adults:
The nutritional guidelines that adults should follow, on average, is as follows:
- Energy intake should be about 8700kJ
- Protein: 50gm
- Fat: 70gm
- Carbohydrates: 310gm
- Dietary fiber: 30gm
- Sugars: 90gm
- Salt: 2.3gm
Based on the above figures, the daily nutrition percentages are as follows:
- Proteins: 20% of total calorie intake
- Fats: 30% of total calorie intake
- Carbohydrates: 50% of total calorie intake
A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, etc. will provide all the requires vitamins, minerals, and fiber as well. Hence, there is no need to worry much about it.
Daily nutrition calculator:
The daily nutrition or the amount of calories required depends on age, gender, or if the person is looking to gain or lose weight. A simple way to calculate the daily calorie requirement for weight maintenance is by multiplying the weight (in kilograms) by 25. So roughly speaking, an 80kg individual will need 2000 calories per day to maintain weight. It is a rough approximation, and the actual values may depend on the gender of the individual or the levels of physical activity.
Women’s daily nutritional requirements are generally lower as compared to men. However, in certain conditions or illnesses, or if the woman is pregnant, the daily requirement may vary greatly and one must consult a dietitian.
Besides the above-mentioned daily requirements of various nutrients, one must also keep the following points while planning a diet:
- One must consume at least 400g of fruits and vegetables per day (excluding starchy items like potatoes, cassava, etc.).
- Intake of free sugars should be less than 10% of daily energy intake.
- Similarly, the intake of saturated fats should also be less than 10% of daily energy intake and intake of trans-fats should be lower than 1% of daily energy intake.
- Infants should be excessively breastfed until 6 months of age. Thereafter, it should be complemented with nutrient-dense food items (devoid of salt and sugar).
As already mentioned, these are only general guidelines, and the actual figures may vary from person to person. There are various online daily nutrition calculators that one may use to know the daily nutritional requirement. Moreover, it is highly recommended to reach out to a professional dietitian to assess your nutritional needs.