Daily Nutritional Requirements
While there are a variety of tools available to help make sure you are meeting all of your daily nutritional requirements, many people still fail to maintain good diet and nutrition habits. This is mostly due to a lack of education about good nutrition and the fact that people have different nutritional needs based on their weight, age, gender, and general health.
The government does a good job of providing us with nutritional guidelines and nutrition labels, but it is the responsibility of each individual to be able to understand their own daily nutritional requirements and meet them whenever possible.
The factors that can have an influence on your nutritional needs are:
- Weight - People who are overweight, underweight, or at a healthy weight all require different diet plans. Weight gain and loss is calculated simply as calories in vs. calories out. If you need to lose weight, you should burn more calories than you consume, which may mean going on a reduced calorie diet until you meet your weight goals. For those needing to gain weight, it is the opposite. However, it is still important to include exercise in your health plan to ensure that once your goal weight is met it is not exceeded.
- Age - Children, teenagers, adults, and seniors all have different daily nutritional requirements. It is important to understand what your age-specific needs are to ensure you and your family remain healthy at any age.
- Gender - Men and women have different requirements due to hormones and body makeup. Women require more iron and calcium than men, and men often need more lean proteins and essential vitamins than women.
- Health - People with some health conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, may need to slightly alter their diets to account for their conditions and reduce the risk of complications.
If you have any questions about nutrient facts in your daily nutritional requirements or your diet and nutrition, an experienced nutritionist or dietitian, as well as your primary care provider, should be able to help you make healthy food choices to ensure you are getting the most out of what you eat.