A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 2: Basic Nutrition 18 The best way to meet the intake recommendations for both macronutrients and micronutrients is to eat a variety of different nutrient-dense foods (foods that are high in nutrients as compared to calories) each day. Adequacy, variety, balance, and moderation are key components of a healthy eating pattern. Now that we know about the six classes of nutrients, the next step is to determine what percentage of our daily calories should come by way of carbohydrates, protein and fats. The Institute of Medicine (2005) has provided Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) for each of the different macronutrients. Although these recommendations are suitable for the general public, they may not be ideal for all populations (e.g., athletes). As a result, sport-specific recommendations have also been developed. Current research also suggests that the IOM recommendations are likely better suited for males than they are for females as females tend to rely less on carbohydrates during exercise than men (Smith-Ryan & Antonio, 2013). Table 2.2 below provides ranges for general population, sport- and femalespecific macronutrient distribution ranges (IOM, 2005; Smith-Ryan & Antonio, 2013; Sheiko et al., 2018). Table 2.2. General, Sport- and Female-Specific Macronutrient Distribution Ranges Carbohydrates Protein Fat General Population 45-65% 10-35% 20-35% Female 40-45% 20-25% 30-35% Endurance Athlete 55-65% 15-25% 20-30% Mixed Athlete 50-55% 20-25% 25-30% Strength Athlete (whose goal is to lose weight) 40-50% 20-30% 25-30% Strength Athlete (whose goal is to maintain weight) 45-50% 20-30% 20-30% Strength Athlete (whose goal is to gain weight) 45-55% 15-20% 20-25% In addition, the Health and Medicine division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have developed Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) values for each nutrient. Although the DRIs cannot encompass all of the factors that impact nutrient needs, they do address the major factors for the general healthy population. They help to avoid deficiency, optimize health, and avoid toxicity by consuming too much. The DRIs are categorized into four values: the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intakes (AI), the Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), and Upper Limits (UL). The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is another evidence-based resource that provides recommendations for dietary habits that promote health and reduce the risk for major chronic diseases. The DGAs are updated every five years by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) and reflect the goals of the nation in regards to nutrition and health.