Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

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Recommended Dietary Allowance Definition: The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA is the intake levels of essential nutrients, such as, vitamins and minerals, that are based on scientific knowledge to meet the nutrient requirements of healthy individuals.

It is judged by the Food and Nutrition Board and was first published in the year 1943 during World War II. The objective of RDA is to provide standards that serve as a target for good nutrition. The RDA for nutrients among different age groups is different. The first publication has been revised at regular intervals.

Purpose of Recommended Dietary Allowance

  • For obtaining and planning food supplies for different population groups
  • It is used by different institutions to create nutritious and wholesome recipes and meals
  • It is used to interpret food intake records of individuals
  • It helps in determining and meeting the nutritional needs of different population groups
  • It is useful in designing nutrition education programs
  • Manufacturers use RDA to develop new food products in the industry
  • RDA is also used to establish guidelines for nutrition labelling on the foods
  • RDA is a useful tool for planning a diet and to prevent nutrient deficiencies

How to Meet The RDA

  • Diets should be wholesome and composed of a variety of foods that are derived from different food groups to achieve more vitamins and minerals
  • Opt for natural and nutrient rich foods rather than depending on supplements
  • Limit your intake of processed foods because a lot of nutrients are lost while cooking
  • The requirement of certain nutrients during different stages of life changes. Pay special attention towards it. For example, the requirement of protein increases during pregnancy. With the help of the RDA you can determine how much protein should you increase in your diet.

Bottom-Line: RDA is a useful guide, which helps in determining the needs of various nutrients. With the help of RDA, one can know their body’s requirement for different nutrients. (1)

Learn More:
What is Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)
What is Adequate Intake (AI) in Nutrition
What is Tolerable Upper Intake Level or Upper Limit (UL)
What is Estimated Average Requirement – Estimated Value of Nutrient Intake
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