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NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF ADULTS
When an individual reaches adulthood, body growth especially in terms of height and body status stop to a certain extent, but tissue breakdown and repair of body tissues continue even among adults. Therefore adequate amount of essential nutrients need to be provided for main-tenance of physical and mental health in adults.
There is a gradual loss of functioning body cells and reduced physical activity so adults generally require less energy intake as they grow older. The basic fuels required to supply these energy needs are primarily carbohydrates with moderate fat.
The RDA for an adult necessities a protein intake of 0.8g/kg of body weight making the total protein. This amount of protein provides about 13-15% of the total calorie.
About 50-60% of the total diet calories should come from carbohydrate foods, with the majority being mostly complex carbohydrates such as starches. Easily absorbed sugars may also be used for immediate energy.
It provides a back-up energy source. Sufficient fat makes food taste better, aids appetite and provides needed kcal to pre-vent excessive weight loss.
In adults, calcium is required for replac-ing calcium lost from body through urine, feces, sweat and bile. Of the dietary calcium only 20-30% is absorbed and this is facilitated by vitamin D. A desirable intake of phosphorus is recommended. The elemental Ca:P ratio in the diet should be maintained at 1:1.
The loss of iron through sweat, gastroin-testinal tract and urine is estimated to be 14 mg/kg body weight. Apart from this women have additional loss due to men-struation. Thus the iron requirements for women are more than men.
Studies have revealed that 600 mg of reti-nol daily would be sufficient to maintain a normal serum vitamin A level. The requirement for B Vitamins is based on calorie intake. Requirement of folic acid among Indians is 200μg.A daily intake of 20 mg vitamin C is sufficient to main-tain ascorbic acid status. Since 50 percent vitamin C is lost during cooking 40 mg of vitamin C per day is recommended.
· Chronic Disease
· Diabetes Mellitus
· Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
· Poor Nutritional Status
Many of the health problems of older adults are not only due to general aging but also due to states of malnutrition.
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