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Nutrition Terms and Meaning
What is EAR, RDA, AI, etc?

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Knowing your nutritional jargon
Copyright, Loren Howe

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If you have chosen to enhance your health by paying more attention to nutrition, you may have come across some of the terms I've listed below. This is just a brief explanation of some of the more common jargon your nutritionist may use. Your nutritionist or dietician may want you to maintain different numbers than the norm, for whatever reasons are specific to your health.

Related: Please read also the series on nutrition, which you will find linked at the bottom of this article, for more information on the role nutrition plays in health.

The Meaning of Nutritional Terms:

EAR = Estimated Average Requirement
Refers to the daily amount of a nutrient needed to maintain a specific biochemical or physiological function. The Estimated Average Requirement is not across the board applicable but generally applies to half the health people of a specific age and gender.

RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance

Refers to the daily amount of a nutrient that is considered adequate to meet the nutrient needs of a healthy individual. The Recommended Dietary Allowance is set as a nutritional goal for maintaining health.

AI = Adequate Intake

A term used in cases where an RDA cannot be determined, to indicate what is considered to be an adequate intake of any nutrient, daily, that appears to be enough to maintain a specified criterion.

Usually, an AI amount is quoted when there is insufficient data to form either an EAR or RDA.

UL= Tolerable Upper Intake Level
The UL specifies the safe level on a nutrient. For most people, this level is the maximum that can be tolerated without risking adverse health effects.

EER= Estimated Energy Requirement
How much energy intake via nutrients is needed for maintaining energy balance and good health, based on a person's age, gender, weight, height and physical activity level.

AMDR = Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges
The acceptable intake of nutrients to provide needed energy and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Source: Understanding Nurition, Eleventh Edition, Ellie Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes

Nutritional Series:

part one: food and health

Wholistic Health Disclaimer: The nutritional information on this website is not intended to replace any needed medical attention or treatment.