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Recommended Daily Allowances

Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA's)

The information on this page is historical and data may have updated or altered in its format. Food labels are changing and the term Guideline Daily Amount is being replaced by Reference Intake (RI). Experts developed GDAs for calories and seven other main nutrients - protein, carbohydrate, sugars, fat, saturates (saturated fat), fibre and salt.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

RDA is also busy being revised and will be called the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) and is a collaborative effort between the USA and Canada.  Although the abbreviation stands for the Recommended Dietary Allowance, many refer to it as the Recommended Daily Allowance.

Until publication of the new DRI, we herewith refer to the old RDA schedule, with some of the new DRI worked in, as a point of reference only.

The RDA represents the establishment of a nutritional norm for planning and assessing dietary intake, and are the levels of intake of essential nutrients considered to be adequate to meet the known needs of practically all healthy people.

These figures were first published in 1943 and have been updated and expanded as data became available.

When introducing the new revision of the RDA in 1974, Dr. Alfred E. Harper, the then Chairman of the Committee on Dietary Allowances, Food and Nutrition Board said "..However requirements differ with age and body size; among individuals of the same body size owning to differences in genetic makeup; with the physiologic state of individuals - growth rate, pregnancy, lactation; and with sex"

Other terms

EAR: Estimated Average Requirements; AI: Adequate Intake; UL: Tolerable Upper Intake

Prime Source:

Council Directive 90/496/EEC of 24 September 1990 on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs

Other sources:

Please check further sources if verification is needed. Also check differences between EU and US standards



With this in mind, here is the key table previously recorded:

Macronutrients (typical values)

  Women Men Children (5-10 years)
Calories 2,000 kcal 2,500 kcal 1,800 kcal
Protein 45 g 55 g 24 g
Carbohydrate 230 g 300g 220 g
Sugars 90 g 120 g 85 g
Fat 70 g 95 g 70 g
Saturates 20 g 30 g 20 g
Fibre 24 g 24 g 15 g
Salt 6 g 6 g 4 g

see extra tables on our homepage at:

Recommended Daily Allowances and Reference Intakes


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