Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daily Nutrient Requirements And Their Caloric Values

We have heard about calories and nutrients several times but do we really know what it means? Let’s educate ourselves a little before we look at the daily nutrient requirements and their caloric values..

What are nutrients? Nutrients are life sustaining substances found in food. They work together to supply the body with energy and structural materials and to regulate growth, maintain and repair the body’s tissue.

What are calories? Protein, carbohydrate and fat are the three nutrients that provide calories. These calories are used by the body to sustain life by helping to maintain body temperature and facilitating the growth and repair of all organs and tissue.

Many people believe fat calories are bad calories. But they are wrong. One reason fat calories are considered bad is that because people eat too many of them which results in excess body fat and weight.  All three nutrients serve a vital purpose in our diet. While the amount of each nutrient a body needs varies widely, there are guidelines for making sure that the body receives enough nutrients to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle. Refer to the following table to know the requirements and values of nutrients. 

Approximately 50 to 70 grams depending on the body size or 12 to 20% of caloric intake as protein.
1 gram protein = 4 calories

A minimum of 125 grams, optimal 350 to 400 grams or 55 to 65% of caloric intake as carbohydrate.
1 gram carbohydrate = 4 calories

Approximately 30 to 65grms depending on caloric consumption or 25 to 30% of caloric intake from fat.
1 gram Fat = 9 calories

Note: A dietician will be able to help you with a detailed meal plan and tell you exactly what modifications are to be made incase your caloric intake is in excess.

Stay Healthy!

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