If you look at the FDA-approved Nutritional Facts label on any food item, you will see the quantities of nutrients listed as well as the percentage of their recommended daily value. The standard nutrition label is based on a standard, 2000-calorie-per-day meal plan. Understanding the percentages of carbohydrates, protein and fats in a 2000-calorie meal plan can help you follow a healthy diet.
Carbohydrates are key in providing your body with energy to help you get through your day. The FDA recommends consuming 300g of carbohydrates per day on a 2000-calorie meal plan. Around 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories -- or 900 to 1,300 calories -- should come from carbohydrate sources. Examples of healthy, nutritious sources of carbohydrates include raw vegetables, whole-grain cereals, brown rice, wheat germ and granola.
The literal building block of muscle, protein is a crucial component in a 2000-calorie meal plan. The FDA recommends consuming 65g of protein per day. Many healthy protein sources -- such as lentils, beans, lean red meat and baked fish -- are low in calories. Around 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories -- or 200 to 700 calories -- should come from healthy protein sources to keep your muscles strong and maintain healthy tissues in your body.
The word "fat" tends to have negative connotations, but your body does need calories from certain types of fat each day. The types of fats to avoid are saturated fats and trans fatty acids. Fats tend to be high in calories, and roughly 20 to 35 percent of your calories -- 400 to 700 calories -- should come from healthy, unsaturated fats. Avoid greasy foods such as french fries and potato chips, and choose healthier fat sources such as avocados, salmon, almonds, and low-fat dairy products.
Meal Planning and Lifestyle
When adjusting your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake to recommended percentages for a 2000-calorie meal plan, take your lifestyle into account. For example, if you are sedentary or get little physical activity, your body's protein needs are not as high, so consider going low on your protein and fat percentages, and eat more vegetables for healthy fibers and carbohydrate calories. On the other hand, if you're an athlete or work out regularly, make sure you're keeping toward the higher percentage range of carbohydrates and proteins in order to provide your body with plenty of energy and allow it to rebuild worked muscles efficiently.