Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Do I Find My Personal Nutrient Needs?

I am 21 years old and would like to find out what my own personal nutrient needs are--not just what the general  population needs. I am 5'4" and 130 pounds female and fairly active. Thanks, Jolene

Dear Jolene,
Here is a link to the USDA website with dietary reference intakes and an explanation of how to use them. Every single vitamin and mineral (along with carbohydrate and protein needs as well) is categorized according to gender and age. Your height and weight are not included as factors in considering nutritional needs for these purposes.

The numbers were determined over years of studies on large groups of people. After the healthiest intake was realized in each case there was a generous cushion applied so the needs of 99% of the population is estimated to be met with each level. What this means is you do not have to add an extra amounts "just in case"... they've taken care of that for you!

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