Food - Nutrition

Food - Nutrition

In 1973, the Federal Government established the U.S. RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) which was to be used as a reference in the voluntary labeling of foods. The RDA of each nutrient was the amount of that nutrient the government thought was necessary to maintain good health. In 1994, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring that packaged foods carry labels listing the nutritional content of the product. To minimize confusion with the previous system, the FDA introduced Daily Values (DV), which are very similar to the old RDA's.

With some exceptions, each product label (below left) must contain information about fourteen important dietary components (below right). For each component, the percent of the DV the product provides must be listed. In addition, the macronutrients (including fats, carbohydrates and proteins) must have their values listed in grams.

total calories

calories from fat

total fat

saturated fat



total carbohydrate
dietary fiber



vitamin A

vitamin C



Using a 2,000 calorie diet as a reference value, the FDA has suggested that for an average healthy person the DV of the macronutrients be as follows:

percent of calories mass equivalent
total fat less than 30% less than 65 g
saturated fat less than 10% less than 20 g
carbohydrates 60% 300 g
protein 10% 50 g

Continue and read about some chemical tests for carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.

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