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Nutritional Requirements

By

Adrienne Youdim

, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Last full review/revision Aug 2019| Content last modified Jan 2020
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General guidelines for a healthy diet have been developed even though daily nutritional requirements, including those for essential nutrients, vary depending on age, sex, height, weight, physical activity, and the rate at which the body burns calories (metabolic rate). Recommended dietary allowances for protein, vitamins Vitamins Vitamins are a vital part of a healthy diet. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA)—the amount most healthy people need each day to remain healthy—has been determined for most vitamins. A safe... read more , and minerals Minerals Minerals are necessary for the normal functioning of the body’s cells. The body needs relatively large quantities of Calcium Chloride Magnesium Phosphate read more are periodically published by The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences–National Research Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These allowances are intended to meet the needs of healthy people.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also publishes MyPlate, a web site that helps people develop a healthy eating style and make healthy food choices that suit their individual needs.

In general, authorities recommend that

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Vitamin A (retinol) is necessary for maintaining night vision, skin health, and the health of the lining of the lungs, intestine, and urinary tract. It also helps protect against infections. The body converts carotenoids, substances found in certain foods, into vitamin A. Which of the following foods are high in carotenoids?
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