In diet and nutrition, the term calorie describes the energy content of foods. As with all age groups, the daily calorie needs of 48-year-old women vary with their levels of physical activity.
The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion defines three activity levels beyond your activities of daily living. Per that definition, sedentary individuals spend less than 30 minutes a day in moderate physical activity, while moderately active individuals engage in 30 minutes to one hour of moderate exercise. Active women exercise for 60 or more minutes a day.
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If you're a sedentary 48-year-old woman, your daily calorie needs amount to 1,800. Daily recommendations increase to 2,000 and 2,200 calories for moderately active and active 48-year-old women, respectively.
Calories have the same worth and effect, regardless of their origin. However, with nine calories per gram, fats are the most calorie-dense food source. Carbohydrates and proteins each deliver four calories per gram.
Calorie recommendations are based on your energy requirements—the amount of energy your body needs in order to maintain a stable weight and support a healthy level of physical activity. However, the vitamins, minerals and fiber that a varied, balanced diet provides are just as important for good health as the amount of caloric intake.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guideliens for Americans 2005
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion: Calorie Levels
- University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign: Macronutrients
- "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition;" Chronicle of the Institute of Medicine Physical Activity Recommendation; George A. Brooks, et al.; May 2004
- Centers for DIsease Control: Healthy Weight
- The Mayo Clinic: Healthy Weight Pyramid Tool