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FDA Recommended Carbohydrate Daily Allowance

Updated April 17, 2017

Despite low-carb frenzies that demonise carbohydrates, carbs in moderation are an essential part of your daily diet. They provide your body with the energy it needs. The FDA publishes a set of guidelines for your recommended daily intake of carbohydrates.

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General Guidelines

The FDA recommends that 50 per cent to 60 per cent of your total food intake comes from carbohydrates. The per cent daily value for carbohydrates, as shown on food labels, is calculated for the average adult consuming about 2,000 calories per day. Percentage daily values for carbohydrates assume you consume about 300 grams of carbohydrates per day.

If you consume more or less than 2,000 calories per day, the percentage daily value shown on the nutritional information might not be accurate.

Types of Carbs

The sources of your carbohydrates matter. Dietary fibre from carbohydrates should total at least 25 grams per day. Dietary fibre is found in complex carbohydrates such as those in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The FDA recommends you limit your intake of simple carbohydrates such as refined grains and sugar.

Other Factors

Your carbohydrate needs also vary based on age, gender, and level of physical activity. Athletes who are very active and burn many calories need more carbohydrates to fuel their workouts. Men typically require more calories than women, so they might need to consume more carbohydrates. Children require fewer calories and grams of carbohydrates per day than adults do.

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About the Author

Michelle Labbe

Michelle Labbe has been writing online and for print since 2004. Her work has appeared in the online journals Reflection's Edge and Cabinet des Fées as well as in Harvard Book Store's anthology, "Michrochondria." She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing at Emerson College.

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