Results are in from various studies as to just what exactly will make up the “perfect diet.” Young and old alike will benefit from knowing when they are consuming enough but not too much!
Here’s a breakdown of the perfect diet:
- Protein: 10-35%
- Carbohydrates: 45-65%
- Fats: 20-35%
- Saturated Fat: less than 10% of the calories
- Total Fat: less than 35% of calories (unless naturally occurring)
- Cholesterol: less than 300 mgs.
- Sodium: less than 2300 mgs.*
- Fiber: 28g
- Water: 64 ounces per day for all drinks
*Further reduction may be needed for salt intake to 1500 mg. among persons who are 51 or older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
Children and adults have essentially the same needs for nutrients at different times in their lives, but in different amounts. Most individuals will have increased needs for calories and nutrients by age and by their fitness. Athletes require the most and depending on their sport will have higher needs for protein and carbohydrates. It is difficult to determine these needs by looking at a height weight chart, these are only a guide, but it may be better to go to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov to determine your daily calorie recommendation; or by visiting with a Registered Dietitian such as myself for this calculation and ideas on “how and what” to arrange for meals.
Menu choices have to be suited to your specific tastes, schedule, and newly calculated calories and nutrients. If you choose a generic diet from the web or a magazine, it is likely that you will not be able to follow it for long.
Really, the “perfect diet” is the one that is tailored specifically to you and your goals.Schedule a Nutrition Consultation
By Rita Larsen, RDN; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor