Personal Daily Allowances (PDAs)


Your "Personal Daily Allowance" of a nutrient is Diet Power's umbrella term for the amount thought to be right for you, personally. (Don't confuse it with the Daily Value cited on food labels. Daily Values aren't adjusted to you individually; they're for an average person on a 2000-calorie diet, as the labels explain.) Your Personal Daily Allowance is always equal to one of the following:

  1. The Food and Nutrition Board's (FNB's) Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), which depends on your age, sex, and whether you are pregnant or lactating. (For several nutrients, it also depends on your body weight or whether you smoke.) The nutrients in Diet Power that have RDAs are copper, dietary fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. Diet Power does not use the RDA for protein as your PDA, however (see paragraph 3, below).

  1. The FNB's Adequate Intake (AI). This figure is for nutrients that don't have an RDA because not enough is known about them. For such nutrients, the FNB doesn't recommend a particular intake, but it does recognize an intake that appears to sustain good health. Diet Power uses the AI in setting the PDA for seven nutrients: calcium, manganese, pantothenic acid, potassium, sodium, vitamin D, and water.

  1. Diet Power's Daily Allowance (DPDA). This applies to nine itemsalcohol, calories, cholesterol, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, sugars, total carbohydrate, and total fatthat have no RDA or AI, and to protein. For these nine nutrients, Diet Power has established its own daily allowance through review of scientific literature. No one can say with 100-percent certainty that the DPDA is correct for you, but the best evidence shows it is probably safe for the average person of your age, sex, and size.

  1. Your own handmade PDA. For any nutrient, you can customize your daily allowance instead of using Diet Power's. (Diet Power cannot endorse the new value, of course, since we have no control over it.) See Personal Daily Allowances, Editing Your.

To learn the default PDA of any nutrient, click its name above or on the list in Nutrients, Information on.



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Last Modified: 3/30/04