How much food do we really need for better health?

The Institute of Medicine, has given a list of recommended dietary allowance (RDA), the average amount in the daily diet that will meet the nutrient demands of almost every healthy person of a particular age & gender.

Breakdown of macro-nutrients:
   • Carbohydrates : 45% to 65% (Primarily from whole grain sources)
   • Fat : 20% to 35% (Primarily monounsaturated & polyunsaturated omega-3s)
   • Protein : 10% to 12% (Primarily from lean sources)


Adequate intake (AI), an amount likely to meet the requirements of most people of certain age and gender. Because too much of any one nutrient is also an issue, the tolerable upper intake level (UL) is also noted. This is the highest level that a person can consume on an ongoing day-to-day basis that is likely to pose no risk of harmful side effects in most people.

These are usually a 2,000-calorie diet. While each person’s calorie demands are different, depending on height and activity level; a 2,000 calorie diet is widely accepted as a reasonable goal for most men of average height.

In order to get all of these nutrients without going overboard on calories, the key is to select nutrient-dense foods & keep our portions reasonable. The recommended serving sizes that are best for our health and fitness are given below:

• Sliced cheese: About 2 to 3 slices.
• Beans and hot cereal: About half cup.
• Meat, chicken and salmon: 120 gm approx.
• Rice, pasta & cereal: About 1-2 cups.
• Potatoes & starches: About half cup.
• Peanut butter: Two tablespoons
• Salad dressing: Two tablespoons 
• Juice: 120 ml