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Your Recommended Daily Allowances and How They Affect You!

Updated on February 12, 2013

What is the importance of RDA?

Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA as it is referred to, is the suggested optimum intake for the body within a 24 hour cycle. These hub will cover the recommended allowances for adults only.

Obviously it is important to give your body the necessary intake daily to allow it to function properly. Then why is it, that we do not? Many elements come into play here; Time, Money, Availability, whatever it may be that is preventing you from getting your RDA, it is crucial to always remember that if you are not getting enough or getting way too much, it can play havoc with your overall health. It is common to see overdosing or undertaking leading to health problems, such as diabetes or obesity.

A survey, conducted by the Seven Seas group, indicated that 49% of supermarket shoppers within the UK check the back of products for ingredients levels, yet 46% of these did not know anything about RDAs. 52% of this figure where not able to identify correct RDA for any mineral, vitamins, macro nutrient or anything. Amazing! If we do not know what we are putting into our bodies, how can we blame the institutions such as the NHS for poor health service? It is your body, now is the time to start looking after it.

Carbohydrates, protein, fats etc, are seen as macro nutrients. These are integral for day to day functioning of the body. The very fact that they are so important to balance is emphasized by the information that food and drink suppliers legally have to be on every digestible product sold. These macro nutrients are very important to balance, if you are getting to much or too little, these will be the elements which will affect you the most, in physical performance and mental capabilities.

Micro nutrients, on the other hand, includes such examples as; Vitamins and minerals. Deficiency in these can be seen noticed in many different ways. Here are some examples; White Flecks in Nails, Dry Skin, Worsen Eyesight... There are hundreds of ways these affect the body. All nutrients are important to the body and known of them should be simply cast aside.

There are some exceptions to the rules however, individuals on medical rehabilitation may find that they need to have a different vitamin and mineral, protein intake, carbohydrate intake, whatever the nutrient that needs altering will affect the body. An example of this is, if injured it is recommended to increase your intake of protein and amino acids to hope the healing process. Athletes will also have varied RDAs to those for the majority. A weightlifter will have a very high protein diet. A marathon runner will have a high carbohydrate diet. Every sport has different dietary requirements. It is important to remember that professional athletes usually have nutritional experts at hand for advice, and that following an athletes' diet may not benefit you in the same way.

What Are the RDAs?

The table below shows the RDAs for macro nutrients within the body.

RDA for Average Adult with Calorific Intake of 2000

Total Carbohydrate (Inc. Sugars)
300 Grams
Total Protein
50 Grams
Total Fat (Inc Saturates)
80 Grams
Dietary Fibre
25 Grams
Sodium (Salt)
2400 Milligrams
3500 Milligrams
300 Milligrams

The macro nutrient information displayed above is for an average adults with a daily calorie intake of about 2000. This is the standard, however it will vary depending on age, activity level, weight, among numerous other variables. The most important here is not necessarily to follow this table, but to understand it, so you can adapt it for your personal lifestyle. This is the most important tip for dieting, adapting your diet to your lifestyle in a healthy and balance manner.

RDA (Grams)
Vitamin A
900 Micrograms
Vitamin C
90 Milligrams
1300 Milligrams
18 Milligrams
Vitamin D
15 Micrograms
Vitamin E
15 Milligrams
Vitamin K
120 Micrograms
1.2 Milligrams
1.3 Milligrams
16 Milligrams
Vitamin B6
1.7 Milligrams
400 Micrograms
Vitamin B12
2.4 Micrograms
30 Micrograms
5 Milligrams
1250 Milligrams
150 Micrograms
420 Milligrams
11 Milligrams
55 Micrograms
900 Micrograms
2.3 Milligrams
35 Micrograms
45 Micrograms
2300 Milligrams

I know what you are thinking... "Oh my, there are so many! How on earth do I balance all of these? The weight of each needed to so small, do I really need them?" The truth to the matter is, no one can realistically manage to control there intake of all of these nutrients. However, we can take easy sensible steps to ensure we are getting enough of each.

You always hear about how important a well balanced diet is. It is true, a balanced diet will bring you all of these in the right amounts across time. This micro nutrient RDA will become very useful if you have been advised to increase your intake for one or more of them. An example would be, increasing intake of Vitamin C to promote a healthy immune system.

Do not stress about getting all these micro nutrients every day, some days will even out the next day. As long as you are keeping a closer eye on the macro nutrients and eating a varied balanced diet, then the micro nutrients usually fall into place naturally. So do not become obsessive about getting your daily fix for each of these nutrients.

What is vastly important is to understand the information and process it to benefit you personally. After all everyone lives different lifestyles and every will consume more or less of a particular nutrient at some point or another.

The best advice is you are concerned about your diet is to keep an eye on the macro nutrient, while eating lots of fruit and vegetables, this will bring the micro nutrients into place without having to worry daily about getting the correct amount of each.

How Do I Manage My Nutrition?

Being a very active and sporty individual, my nutrition is very important to me. Over the years I have tailored my diet to my specific needs and ambitions, for example at a glance, my current diet looks like a very high protein, medium carbohydrate, low fat diet. Packed with daily vegetables and fruits. This is because my ambition is to be lean, fast and have high endurance, all of which are necessities for martial arts. My personal sport. In another hub published, I explain my day to day diet and exactly what I eat each day.

I tend to eat a wide variety of vegetables and foods to make sure I get all my essential micro and macro nutrients. however, I do not obsess about my intake of these. I can not stress enough that a well balanced diet is more important than stressing over each gram. Stress in itself will bring its' own health problems.

On my intense exercise days, I ensure that my diet changes slightly to compensate for the extra use of energy and fluids lost from sweating. If are you a sporting individual, I would highly forward doing the same, as this can greatly improve performance within the sport. I usually tend to increase my carbohydrate intake slightly so I have more energy to use when it comes to the exercise or activity.

When purchasing foods in supermarkets and shops, I do pay attention to exactly what I am eating, if it have an excessive amount of simple carbohydrates (complex and simple carbohydrates explained fully in another hub published) then I will tend to avoid it compared to a food with more complex carbohydrates, obviously dependant on the rest of the day I have planned ahead of me.

To Summarize

  • Do not become obsessive about tracking micro nutrients. The difference made will not justify the time invested.
  • Remember to eat a well balanced diet. Different vegetables and fruits are essential.
  • Do pay attention to your macro nutrient intake, as this will make the biggest difference, if consumption is too high or low.
  • Remember to enjoy life. It may seem obvious, but many people have got so caught up in watching what they eat (including myself) that when invited out for meals, they refuse because they are so focused on their diet they can not afford to eat out. So go out every now and again, enjoy life!



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