Nutrition Reference Intakes and Planning Nutritious Diet
- What are the different DRI values
- What do they mean
- What are they used for
- Planning a healthy diet with Canada’s food guide
Nutrition recommendation for Canadian Diet – How much is enough?
Health professionals in Canada and US use the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) which were
developed in 1990’s through a collaboration of US and Canadian efforts. They replaced RDA’s in
US and RNI’s in Canada
Developed by the Institutes of Medicine
DRI’S : are a set a reference values for the intake of energy, nutrients, and food components
that can be used for planning and assessing the diets of healthy people in North America
Designed to promote health as well as prevent nutrient deficiencies.
In addition to the DRI’s Canada made “Canada’s Food Guide” (a food-based dietary pattern) to
promote healthy eating.
Canada’s Food Guide: central tool in promotion of nutrious eating. Also advises how to use
food labels to compare foods and make better food choices. It is based on the DRI values and
if follow it you will most likely get all nutrients required to be healthy.
1. List some reasons why population-wide nutritional recommendations are developed.
2. Describe 2 approaches that are taken to formulate nutrition recommendations
1. First time nutritional recommendations were developed because after Industrial Revolution
in England the gov. wanted to know the least expensive way to keep its people alive and
maintain the workforce. After WW1 British Royal Society started to make recommendations
about foods that would not only maintain life but also be protective of health. Following
this, many governments of varies countries have established their own sets of dietary
standards based on the nutritional problems and dietary patterns specific to their
populations and interpretations of their scientists.
2. One way is the nutrient-based approach, describes the amounts of individual nutrients that
are needed (e. how much Vit. C is needed) The second is a food-based approach in which
Dietary Pattern – describes a way of eating that includes the types and amounts of
recommended foods and food-groups, rather than individual nutrients – is recommended.
Food-base approach also makes recommendations on which foods to eat and foods to
avoid, to reduce risk of chronic diseases.
Dietary Reference Intakes
- Designed to be used for planning and assessing the diets of healthy people, NOT the ill - Include recommendations for energy, carbohydrates, fat, protein and micronutrients.
- Include values for life stage groups – groupings for individuals based on stages of growth and
development, pregnancy and lactation, which have similar nutrient needs.
Question: Describe the types of nutrient intake recommendations included in the Dietary Reference
intakes (DRI’s) and explain purpose of each
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI’s)
DRI’s for macronutrients and micronutrients include 4 different sets of reference values:
- Estimated Average Requirements (EAR):
Meets the needs of 50% of individuals in specific life-stage.
It is used to determine RDA.
Must be based on solid evidence
Used for GROUPS not individuals
Tool for researchers assessing the diet of the population to see if its doing okay.
To set EAR scientists establish a measurable marker of adequacy, based on understanding of
the function the nutrient plays in body. It’s called criterion of adequacy – functional
indicator, such as the amount of nutrient excreted in urine, level of nutrient in blood, which
can be measured to determine biological effect of a level of nutrient intake.
To get EAR requires and depletion- repletion experiments: When you remove all the Vit.X out of
diet so Vit. Is removed completely from blood, then subjects are re-fed Vit. X until saturation of
vit. Is reached in there blood (pt. at which no more vit. Can be absorbed by their body). You then
plot the results and typically get a requirement distribution (shape of bell curve bc no two
individuals will typically have the same requirements for blood to be saturated).
The central line in plotted data is the estimated average requirement (EAR)
- Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):
Intakes that are sufficient to meet the needs of almost all healthy people in a specific life-
stage and gender group.
GOAL FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS
Meets needs of 97-98% RDA represents such a high probability for meeting nutrient
requirements that it is recommended for all.
Is determined by starting with EAR value and using a statistic called standard deviation (SD). Is a
measure of the range or width of the requirement distribution curve. RDA is equal to EAR + 2
SD. EQUATION: RDA= EAR+ 2SD
- Adequate Intake (AI):
Intakes that should be used as a goal when there’s not enough info to find DRA
Approximate of the average nutrient intake that appears to sustain a desired indicator of
To get it, researchers take a healthy group of people see what they eat and use that as a
guideline. MEAN intake of healthy population.
Ex. No RDA for fibre because study would require a long time to determine RDA. This is
because fibre goes into the body and it is not digested, pooped-out. - Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL):
Maximum daily intakes that are unlikely to pose a risk of adverse health effects to almost all
individuals in the specified life-stage and gender group.
Highest average intake of nutrient your body can have
NOT recommended levels but levels of intake that body can probably tolerate.
To establish, a specific adverse effect of indicator of excess is considered. The lowest level of
intake that causes the effect is determined and UL is set far enough below that even the
most sensitive ppl in population are unlikely to be affected.
DRI’s make 2 recommendations:
1. Provides estimate of how much energy needed to maintain body weight.
2. Provides info about how much of each energy-yielding nutrient from which energy
should come from
Estimated Energy Requirements (EER’s)
- Average energy intakes predicted to maintain body weight. Can be to calculate how many kcals
a person needed to keep weight stable in healthy person.
- Variables include: age, gender, weight, height, and level of physical activity
Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs)
- Proportion of each of the energy-yielding nutrients in diet is as important as the total amount of
- DRI’s make recommendations for the portions of carbs, protein, and fat = AMDR’s
- Recommendations expressed as ranges (% of total energy intake) because healthy diets contain
many different combo’s of carbs, protein, fats.
Applications of DRI’s
- Set of standards that can be used to plan healthy diets
- Assess adequacy of diets
- Make judgements about excessive intakes for individuals and populations
- Can help to make a set of standards for meals prepared for schools, hospitals, and other health
- Be used to determine standards for food labelling
- Develop practical tools for diet planning, such as food group systems.
Canada’s Food Guide
1. List 4 food groups
2. Give examples of Canada’s Food Guide servings
3. Explain the purpose of additional statements found in Canada’s Food Guide 4. Describe process used to ensure that Canada’s food guide meets the nutrient
requirements of most Canadians