Better nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases Healthy children learn better. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.
Recommended Alimentary Allowance (RDA)
RDA is an estimate of the nutrients required to meet current health needs and to prevent deficiency diseases. It is NOT a measure of the nutrient standards of individuals. The RDA is the average requirement for a healthy male and female respectively. The RDAs do not provide exact nutrient requirements to an individual because they inform individual what their individual needs are. The Recommended Dietary Allowances does cover the nutrient intake of almost all (97-98%) healthy individuals, both those who are sick and those who are healthy, over 5 years of age.
What is considered as ‘excessive’ is the difference between the tolerable upper limit and the highest percentage of requirement. The tolerable upper limit is considered to be anywhere between Forty-five (45) and seventy-five (75) grams per day, but this is dependent on factors such as age, weight, sex, and physical activity level.
Some diseases and conditions directly related to poor nutrition include acne, anorexia, arteriosclerosis, bladder and kidney problems, bursitis, chronic fatigue, cavities, cancer, depression, diabetes, (type II diabetes), edema, endometriosis, fatigue, fever, gallbladder disorders, gallstones, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, hemorrhoids, heart disease (cardiovascular disease), Hysteria, hypoglycemia, indigestion, insomnia, kidney problems, leg cramps, leukemia, liver, kidney, liver problems, nervous system, obesity, poly cystic ovary syndrome, prostate enlargement, senility, sinus problems, tooth decay, tooth loss, ulcers, and varicose veins.
In this day and age, it is hard to consider that the basics of good nutrition are not being met… we need to get the right nutrients in our body, but what we are having is not enough. We really need to consume more of the right nutrients for better health, and we need to monitor the intake of the wrong nutrients.
It is time to take back our good health… we must start to look at the labels on the foods that we are buying and consuming. We must find out if the foods we buy contain the right amount of potassium, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and so on.
It is rather difficult to find an item that says “high in Vitamin A” on the package. What is the definition of high in? Does it mean that it has more than 10% of the daily value in it? Does it mean that it has more than 500% of the daily value in it?
These are things that must be considered when analyzed.
It is not enough to know that a food item is labeled with; “high in Vitamin A” without knowing that it is also high in calcium, iron, and vitamin D, among others.
An easy way of finding out the percentage of the daily value is to find the percentage daily value on the nutritional facts panel. It is easy to find this percentage because it is also listed next to the vitamin A and vitamin D percentages. You just have to multiply the percentage values by the number of servings consumed. For example, if you were to consume 2 servings of the food item daily, then the percentage of the daily value for vitamin A would equal the percentage of the daily value for vitamin A found on the nutritional facts panel.
When looking at the nutritional facts panel, certain things become apparent. First of all, the percentages listed for fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and sugars are combined for a single number, and this is not always easy to understand. If you take a piece of food and look at the sodium and carbohydrate values, then the percentage for sodium will be the same as the percentage for carbohydrates. However, if you take the same food item and use the nutritional facts to find the fat percentage… it will be very difficult to find items that have high fat content.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the percentages listed for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Now, if you are using a 2000 calorie diet, but are using items such as popcorn, cheese, or crackers in your snacks and dessert items, these calories could be anywhere from 100-500 calories, and this is not including any of the toppings or dips that are served along with the items. Also, the values for minerals can be rounded down significantly when they are based on a half cup serving. In other words, if you eat only half a cup of the snack item, but it was listed as having 40 grams of fat, then this number could be rounded down to only say 20 grams of fat. In some cases, these can even be substantial amounts of fat!