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Overview of Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)

The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) was presented in 1997 by the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in order to update the general nutritional guidelines for the the medical officials, food industries, schools, health care centers, senior homes, and correctional facilities. The first official nutritional guidelines were introduced during the World War II in order to make sure the dietary habits were not interfering with national security. The dietary recommendations were utilized for the troops, civilians, and those who were oversees and in need of food supply. The guidelines considered the availability of food for everyone and were set on increasing the energy while making sure 8 types of nutrients were taken daily. The dietary allowance has since been revised every 5 to 10 years and relatively soon included the recommended number of meals that contained every necessary food type. The Dietary Reference Intake that is in effect today attempts to satisfy the dietary needs of all of the individuals in each age and sex group. Also, the recommendations include the minimum and maximum amounts of certain nutrients which are consumed on a daily basis. The DRI is the official point of reference utilized on food labels across Canada and the United States. It applies to all demographics in North America, although it has successfully been employed in other places as well. Canada accepts and follows the proposed DRI, while United Kingdom proposes slightly different guidelines.

Vitamins and Minerals

The Dietary Reference Intake advises that vitamins and minerals only be taken from fresh foods. For instance, for an average healthy 25 year old man, good sources of vitamin A are turkey, and carrots , and the advised daily intake should be around 625 micrograms, and 300 micrograms respectively. When it comes to vitamin D, fish are the recommended point of supply, and not more than 100 micrograms should be consumed in one day. Fish are also full of niacin, and only 10 milligrams are needed for an average 25 year old male. Peach, grapefruit, and oranges serve as the origins of vitamin C and the advised daily dosage should not exceed 1 milligram. When it comes to calcium, the prescribed quantity ranges between 1000 and 2000 milligrams, with the source foods being dairy products. Broccoli is rich in chromium and fewer than 50 micrograms will suffice. Chicken contains choline, of which around 3000 micrograms are the recommended daily dosage. Turkey meet, on the other hand, includes Cyanocobalamin, and very few micrograms are acceptable. They are both a good source of iron, as well, with the advised portion being around 30 milligrams. Lobster and oysters are comprised of copper, and the DRI approves the intake of around 1000 micrograms. Oysters are also commended for zinc, and around 10 milligrams include the recommended dose. Rice contains folate, which is required in 300 micrograms. In the case of various types of nuts, they provide a good basis for molybdenum, and the required dosage does not exceed 2000 micrograms. Whole grains are rich in manganese, and only 2 milligrams are necessary for optimal daily functioning, while white flour consists of magnesium, and it this case around 300 milligrams are required. Onion soup is a good source of sodium, while Bolognese spaghetti should be consumed for the riboflavin, and both are required in only a few milligrams. There are also substances such as arsenic, which have repeatedly shown negative effects and should definitely not be included in the diet.


The favored amount of macronutrients is approximately equal for both men and women who are between 40 and 50 years old. Carbohydrates found in dairy products should be consumed up until 100 grams in one day, while meats as a source of protein should only yield about a half of that amount. Fat can be found in chocolate and should be reduced to around 30 calories. Various kinds of fatty acids, sugar, and cholesterol should altogether be avoided by not consuming different types of cheeses, white chocolate, and meats. The overall food intake should not exceed 2000 calories per day for a healthy, average adult.

Calculating the RDA

Various statistical formulas are utilized to calculate the recommended daily intake of nutrients, which are rounded up to about 2 standard deviations from the average advised food consumption. The statistically significant results satisfy the nutritional needs of about 98 percent of individuals across all age, gender, and ethnic groups. However, there has been a fair amount of critics who oppose the methods utilized to come up with the daily recommended intake, and suggest more rigorous studies are necessary. It should be noted that these are only guidelines, and that individuals should consult with personal nutritionists who will take their medical history into consideration when presenting a dietary plan.

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