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Personalized Nutrient Needs

Personalized Nutrient NeedsYou hear and read a lot these days about what you should and shouldn’t eat. The problem is, these recommendations are usually reflective of whatever you are being sold at that moment in time.

A muscle magazine is going to make you think you need more protein than you probably do, whereas a dietary supplement infomercial’s intent is to convince you that you’re close to death and need CoQ10 immediately!

Enter the DRIs: the Dietary Reference Intakes. The DRIs are a set of nutrient intake recommendations set for Americans and Canadians for given age and gender groups. They are established by the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine and are based on the best-available scientific data for specific nutrients.

You can use the DRIs to determine how much of each nutrient you need in a day – free from the influence of supplement or food product companies.

There are two ways you can access the DRI information to use in your own meal planning: you can download a pdf of the DRI Tables, or you can visit the Interactive DRI Tool page by clicking here.

All you need to get started is your gender and age, and the DRIs can take it from there. Providing your activity level in the interactive version gives a more specific outputs.

For fiber, the DRIs say that most adult males need 38 grams per day while females need 25. This value is what’s called an “Adequate Intake” level, meaning that there isn’t sufficient data to say that beyond a shadow of a doubt you absolutely need this much fiber. Despite not knowing EXACTLY how much fiber you need, scientists surmise that it is significantly higher than the average US fiber intake of 10-12 grams per day.

Knowing your baseline nutrient needs can help you make informed decisions about what foods and types of foods or supplements you should be including in your diet. The DRIs are a useful tool to help get you started planning your own individual nutrition road map.

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