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.
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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.
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.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- 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