When developing the new food label, the Food and Drug Administration needed a base for % Daily Values — a new feature to help customers see at a glance the fat and other nutrient content of a certain food. A mathematically simple 2,000 calorie-a-day diet was chosen so that consumers could easily calculate the Daily Values needed for their own diets.
This is the amount of total calories per day that a moderately active adult female (weighing approximately 132 pounds) would need to maintain her weight. However, if you do not fit this description, your caloric needs will vary. It is important, therefore, that you adapt the new food label to make the best choices for your own diet.
First, determine your daily calorie needs. A moderately active (30-60 minutes of exercise three times a week) adult needs about 15 calories per pound to maintain his or her weight. A less active person would need fewer calories and a more active person would need more.
Second, adapt fat goals to correspond with calorie needs. Total fat should be 30 percent or less of calories (one gram of fat contains 9 calories).
Now, to determine your recommended daily fat intake, follow this formula:
15 x body weight (in pounds) x .3 (30%) / 9 = recommended grams of fat per day
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