The body requires very little to keep it going during the day, we can see through a brief summary.
1g or less of Protein per Gram of lean body mass.
Some essential fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6.
Finally, enough carbohydrates (after Protein) to meet your Basal Metabolic Rate.
And that is it! Your daily requirements.
Let's break it down though, so we can understand what it means for the body in terms eating for the day, what we should be on the look out for and what to expect from a healthy diet.
Protein requirements are taken from the weight we would ideally like to be, the weight to height ratio is known as BMI and is a healthy accepted guide to what our bodies should weigh. With regards to our bodies, many health organisations have determined protein requirements to be range from 10% to 15% of our calorie intake for the day and certainly no more than 35% protein.
The total average weight will differ depending on age and size, however the typical values will constitute of;
- Adults: 45-47 Grams per Day.
- If Pregnant: 70-72 Grams per Day.
- Teenagers: 45-47 Grams per Day.
- Adults: 55-57 Grams per Day.
- Teenagers: 50-52 Grams per Day.
Infants of either gender only require an average of 10 Grams per day for their bodies to grow. It is only later on that we begin to establish larger portioned meals.
These are the thousands of natural chemicals that we find in plant based foods, Phyto being the Greek word for plant, they are the nutrients that we have evolved to use in our bodies. They are a key source to healthier skin, digestive systems and over all health, while they are not essential in keeping the body alive, these ingredients are paramount to providing a healthy working body and preventing disease.
The figures provided are the recommended allowances for the individual nutrients, some are even still in dispute for being too little. Remember, you are not expected to remember every required dosage, but it is wise to look at which ones your body requires the most and what is requires very little of.
Essential Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are ones that can not be naturally reproduced by the Human body and so it is necessary to gather them from other sources, they provide massive health boosting properties in the body and will greatly reduce the risk of Cardiovascular Diseases. Vitamins such as Omega 3 and 6 which can be found naturally in Fish, Flaxseed and numerous Oils used in cooking.
The estimated required dosage to improve heart functionality is 500 Milligrams, however if a person is already suffering from an existing cardiovascular disease than this dosage can be increased up to 1 Gram per Day.
We recommend that at least 2 fish based meals are eaten during the week, to cover the required intake the body needs. This will give you a healthy average of 500 Milligrams per Day.
Carbohydrates will complete the last requirements of your body and are the primary source of energy. However we must always be careful with out intake as this is the area that most people will over consume from. There are detailed recommended daily allowances for the body but these figures can and will be changed when calories are take from other food stuffs.
This is often the most difficult section to regulate and control because there are two main varieties of carbohydrate; Good Carbs and Bad Carbs, and in Western diet we are more likely to consume "Bad Carbs" regularly.
Examples of both below.
- White Bread.
- White Rice.
- Regular Pasta
- Baked goods. (Pies and Pastries, cakes.)
- High Sugar drinks, soda.
- Whole-Wheat Pasta.
- Brown Rice.
- Whole-Grain Cereal.
- Milk and Yogurt.
It is always best to avoid Bad Carbohydrates as these contain very few nutrients and will convert mostly to fat unless you are highly active. Good Carbs are higher in fibre, lower in calories and contain many more required nutrients that the body can use.
The average intake that both men and women should look to achieve for daily intake will be subject to how much exercise the individual does. More athletic people will require more carbohydrates for burning into energy, while an inactive person would require less.
Using average body heights, this will equate to roughly;
225 to 325 grams per day for Women
282 to 407 grams per day for Men.
Roughly 45% - 65% of your daily calorie intake.
This can be a difficult one to keep on top of but is fairly simple to remember. Your body is roughly 65% water, during the day this water will leave your body. The Institute of Medicine has clear recommendations for intake. Women require at least 2.2 Litres per day and Men will require at least 3.