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Nutritional Guideline Glossary

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Adequate Intakes (AI):

Guidelines used when there is enough scientific data to estimate the usual intake of a particular nutrient by a healthy population, but not enough data to establish an RDA.

Nutritional Value

The recommendations for calcium are not calculated as AIs, rather than as RDAs, because scientists at the Food and Nutrition Board determined there was not enough uniform data to determine an RDA. For infants, all nutrient intakes are represented as AIs.

Daily Reference Values (DRV):

Recommended daily amounts set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for macronutrients - total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sodium, potassium and protein.

DRV's are based on current nutrition recomendations for a 2,000 calorie diet. They apply to anyone age four and older. The DRV for sodium, for example, is 2,400 milligrams, whether you are aged four, forty-four or one-hundred four!

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI):

The most recent series of nutrient guidelines issued by the national Academy of Sciences' Food and Nutrition Board. Included under the DRI umbrella are RDAs, AIs, and ULs. This series of guidelines is more comprehensive than previous nutritent guidelines issued by the board. The figures cover healthy individuals, from infants to pregnant women to the elderly.

Percentage of Daily Values (percent DV):

Guidelines for macronutrients (total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sodium, potassium and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) established by the FDA in 1993 when new food labels went into effect. Daily Values composed of RDIs and DRVs are listed as percentages on Nutrition Facts labels to make the information easy to comprehend. They reflect nutrition recommendations for a 2,000 calorie diet and apply to everyone over age four.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):

Daily amounts of nutrients that are likely to meet the nutrient requirements for healthy individuals. RDAs vary depending on age, gender, and other factors. For example, healthy women between the ages of 25 and 50 should consume 50 grams of protein per day, while pregnant women of any age should consume 60 grams.

Reference Daily Intakes (RDI):

Recommended daily amounts for 19 essential vitamins and minerals, or micronutrients. RDIs were established by the FDA in 1993 to take the place of outdated USRDAs. They are based on the 1968 Recommended Dietary Allowances and like the DRVs, apply to anyone over the age of four.

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL):

The maximum dialy amounts of nutrients that can be consumed without producing negative side effects in healthy people. ULs are not recommendations, but exist as guidelines for healthy people who consume unusually large amounts of vitamins and minerals.

U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDA):

The first nutritional guidelines set for food labels established by the FDA. USRDAs were based on the 1968 Recommended Dietary Allowances and are no longer in use.

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