This article is a brief overview of the recommendations for essential nutrients. If you want to know more about your recommended daily intake, we've included resources at the end of the article that can help. What are essential nutrients? Essential means needed in large quantities and nutrient refers to something that is necessary for life, such as vitamins and minerals. The definition of an essential nutrient will vary depending on what goal you're trying to accomplish and what portion of the US population you're targeting.
Nutrients are the components of our diet that we need in order to stay healthy. The most essential nutrients are carbohydrate, protein, fat, and water. These nutrients are classified as essential because they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through food consumption.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are created every five years by the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. In recognition of the changing nutritional landscape, each set of guidelines is based on what experts in nutrition deem to be a healthy, sustainable diet. The 2015-2020 guidelines were recently released, and these are the latest recommendations for essential nutrients.
The nutrition facts label is a required label on packaged food and beverages in the United States. It provides information about how much of certain nutrients are in a serving of the food. The labeling for food can be found on any packaged food that has more than 5 grams of fat or 0.5 grams of trans-fat per serving, or 25 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.
Vitamin A is an important nutrient for the eyes, and it may even help prevent macular degeneration. Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy bones, and it reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin C assists with converting food into energy that can be used by the body.
Iron and calcium are essential nutrients that everyone should make sure to get enough of. When you're deficient in these nutrients, it can cause a serious issue. Iron is important for hemoglobin synthesis and cardiovascular health. Calcium is important for bone health as well as nervous system function. To help people get the recommended amount of these two nutrients, try adding foods rich in iron and calcium to your diet like spinach, broccoli, lima beans, black beans, beef, sardines and salmon.
Less than 1% of Americans get the recommended nutrients and many people lack healthy eating recommendations. This is why companies have created different products for consumers. One type has been developed by a company called Vitamin Water. This company doesn't follow any nutritional guidelines and claims that their product is healthier because it alters your DNA and boosts your energy levels. There are many negative side effects from altering your DNA, so this should be taken with a grain of salt unless you are sure of the results.
Live Strong is a brand that is empowering women. It has their own website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel which tells the stories of women who are living healthy lives.
The Paleolithic Diet is a diet in which humans have been eating for hundreds of thousands of years before the rise of agriculture. The Paleo Diet is short for Paleolithic and is supposed to simulate the diets that our ancestors ate prior to the Neolithic Revolution. There are traditional foods like meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Paleo experts also recommend avoiding dairy and legumes because they were not common during pre-agricultural times.
This concludes the three-part series on the essential nutrients. We hope you learned some new information and maybe gained some insight into how to live a healthier lifestyle.