How To Calculate My Recommended Dietary Allowance

To calculate your recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for carbohydrates, protein and fats, the first thing you must do is determine your daily caloric needs, based on your body. Once that is established, you must determine your individual carbohydrate, protein, and fat needs based on the recommended amounts the body needs. According to the American Council on Exercise, your daily diet should consist of at least 55 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein, and 30 percent from fat. Ultimately, these numbers can be slightly adjusted based on your individual needs.

A woman is calculating something on her iPhone. Credit: adrian825/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Determine your daily caloric needs based on your sex, age and activity level. According to MyPyramid.gov, these factors are needed to determine the total calories your body needs each day. For example, if you are a 35 year old, sedentary male, MyPyramid calculates your daily caloric needs to be 2400 calories per day.

Step 2

Multiply your daily caloric needs by the total recommended amount of carbohydrates needed each day. Since your diet should be approximately 55 percent carbohydrates, if your total caloric needs for the day is 2400 calories, your equation will look like this: 2400 X .55 = 1320. This means 1320 calories you eat each day should be made up of carbohydrates.

Step 3

Multiply your daily caloric needs by the total recommended amount of protein you need each day. Since your diet should consist of approximately 15 percent protein, your equation will look like this: 2400 X .15 = 360. Out of your 2400 calories each day, 360 of them should be made up of proteins.

Step 4

Multiply your daily caloric needs by the total recommended amount of fat you need each day. Since your diet should consist of approximately 30 percent fat, your equation will look like this: 2400 X .30 = 720. Out of your 2400 calories each day, 720 of them should be made up of fats.

Step 5

Look at your dietary intake and make sure you are following what is recommended for you: 1320 calories from carbohydrates, 360 calories from protein, and 720 calories from fat.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator

  • Internet access

Tips

Make sure you are getting your carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Choose leaner cuts of meat and fat-free dairy sources as your protein source. Choose unsaturated and other healthy fats as your fat source. Get your personalized nutritional information from a registered dietitian, who is an expert in nutrition.

Warning

Makes sure you eat from a variety of food sources to ensure you do not become deficient in any nutrients. Make sure you eat enough to provide your body with what it needs no matter what your goal. Starvation or denial of food is not a safe alternative.

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