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27 Oct 2006

what is basic daily needs
It is often said that one should have the necessary daily intake of vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron, etc etc etc. But is there such a list available that one could consult? If so, how does one work it out from the foodstuffs eaten per day? If not, how do I know that I take in everything my body needs, or whether I should take supplements?

Is there a difference between what's needed by adults and children, and male and female?

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Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Susan
International nutrition agencies around the world have worked out the so-called Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for protein, vitamins and minerals for adult (both men and women) and children of various ages. We have out own set of RDAs in SA: The adult RDAs for individuals, both male and female, older than 13 are: protein 56 g, vit A 900 microgram, Vit D 5 microgram, vit E 15 microgram, vit C 75 mg, vit B1 1,2 mg, vit B2 1,3 mg, niacin 16 mg, vit B6 1,3 mg, folic acid 400 microgram, bit B12 2,4 microgram, biotin 30 mg, pantothenic acid 5 mg, calcium 1000 mg, phosphorus 700 mg, iron 18 mg, magnesium 420 mg, zinc 11 mg, iodine 140 microgram and selenium 55 microgram per day. I think you will agree that this is rather meaningless information for most people, because to calculate your daily intake you would also need to know how much each food you consume contains of each nutrient. Therefore, dietitians and nutritionists generally make recommendations in terms of food intake: eat at least 5 or more portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, use 3 cups of fat-free milk or yoghurt a day, eat plenty of unsifted, high-bran cereals and grains and legumes, eat 1-2 portions of lean meat, fish (3 times a week), and 4 eggs per week, use at least 3 tablespoons of poly- or monounsaturated margarine or 3 T of olive oil a day.
Hope this helps
DietDoc
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