The federal Food and Drug Administration issues guidelines for the amount of each nutrient that people should consume each day. The FDA requires that food producers list the percentage of your daily need that a product contains per serving, usually based on a 2,000-calorie diet. However, if your caloric intake needs are different, you may need to convert the per cent daily values to grams to determine the quantity of the nutrient you should consume. Some nutrients, like calcium, iron and some vitamins, are listed only by percentages.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Recommended daily value chart
Determine the total amount of the nutrient that the percentage is based on by checking a reference chart (see references) . For example, for a 2,000-calorie diet, the FDA recommends that you get 1,316 milligrams of calcium per day.
Determine the percentage daily value in the food that you are consuming. This information can be found on the nutritional label. For example, a glass of milk is listed as containing 25 per cent of the daily recommended amount of calcium.
Multiply the total amount of the nutrient you need found in Step 1 by the per cent daily value in Step 2 to calculate the number of grams you have consumed. For example, if you need 1,316 milligrams of calcium and your glass of milk has 25 per cent of your required daily value, you are getting 329 milligrams of calcium per serving.
Tips and warnings
- Check your dietary requirements because not everyone's diet is based on 2,000 calories. If you are very active you may need more than 2,000, but if you are sedentary, you may need less.
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