Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘obese’

RDA Is Not For Everyone

Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2011

The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA is part of old guidelines that were first brought about by concern for our country.  The government wanted to make certain that military personnel were receiving the nutrients they needed to remain healthy.  The standards would be used for more than just the military, but the military was the initial thought.  Over the years the RDA has been modified and revised.  The modifications and revisions can be results of new scientific information or as new foods become available.  Eventually the recommend dietary allowance became part of the RDI, Recommended Daily Intake, which has four separate values to consider.  This post is just a quick reminder of the RDA.

The RDA is actually for healthy people . . . .if you are the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high blood pressure, or the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high cholesterol, or one in the large percentage of Americans that doesn’t exercise regularly and/or eat a diet of fast food and/or have a high stress job and/or are overweight/obese/morbidly obese then these guidelines are not necessarily for you.  The recommended dietary allowance is for healthy people.  The estimated Daily Values that are disclosed on nutrition labels are for healthy people and the people eating a 2000 calorie a day diet.

As you can see the D in RDA stands for dietary, not daily, because we don’t need to eat each recommended amount daily.  But I didn’t see the information that explained how that is supposed to average out.  But even so, the amounts are based on averages and people who are healthy so it is kind of no wonder that Americans as a whole are not getting healthier.  If what we have to follow doesn’t even apply to 1 in three of us.  The recommendations really should be taken as very loose guidelines.  If you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol and you are on medication that brings you back into the normal ranges, then it could be that the RDA might work for you.  But it could also be that if you weren’t concerned with the RDA (which remember is meant for healthy people) and you actually ate to be healthy then it could be that a proper diet could make the medication no longer needed.

A great example to point out proof of this is diabetes.  You probably know someone who has it.  You know they don’t follow the RDA.  If they are concerned with controlling it they have a very different diet to follow.  You might even know someone who HAD diabetes and they were able to control it and get off the medications with a change in their diet.  I have heard a lot of testimony of exactly that happening.

Guidelines for healthy people also applies to the 30 minutes of exercise a day.  That 30 minutes is to MAINTAIN health.  Again . . . if you are unhealthy and want to improve your health exercising just 30 minutes a day might not do it.  More than likely you’re going to need more.

So this is just to help you remember that the dietary guidelines are just there to advise or guide on how one does not become deficient in a nutrient.  That is why they are really actually explaining how to stay healthy because they were created for healthy people.  And the recommended 30 minutes a day is to maintain health.  So for the people with health issues that actually want to use diet and exercise to improve their health they shouldn’t stick to the recommendations.  They are only guidelines and they do not apply to us all.  We all are individuals and we need to find out what works best for us.  There are doctors, nutritionist, personal trainers, dietitians, and a whole group of people who can help.  Don’t necessarily rely on the government recommendations to GET you healthy.  It is really up to you.

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