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"Help, I am way over in protein!"
"I’m not meeting my fat goal. Is this a problem?"
"How many carbohydrates should I be eating?"
Based on years of research that examined the relationship between nutrient intake and disease prevention, generally-accepted ranges have been established for carbohydrates, fat and protein intake. These healthy ranges also help to ensure that a person is getting a sufficient intake of other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The recommendations are:
45% to 65% of calories eaten should come from carbohydrates.
20% to 35% of calories eaten should come from fat.
10% to 35% of calories eaten should come from protein*.
The SparkDiet takes a middle-of-the-road approach with these ranges. Our specific breakdown is approximately 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 20% protein, all of which fall into the healthy ranges above. *Because our members are striving to meet weight loss goals through calorie restriction, we also recommend a minimum level of protein—at least 60 grams daily for females and 75 grams daily for males. This requirement will help prevent muscle loss and promote feelings of fullness among dieters. Both your Nutrition Tracker and the chart below reflect this recommendation.
Your intake of carbohydrates, fat and protein may be somewhat higher or lower than the SparkDiet recommendations, due to your taste preferences, cooking style, culture, fitness routine, health conditions and day-to-day changes in diet. Does that mean that your intake is bad or dangerous? No!
Do your best to meet at least the minimum recommendations for calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein as outlined on your Nutrition Tracker. The table below converts these percentages into grams needed each day based on calorie intake:
Monitor your diet in these ways:
Eat a healthy, nutrient-packed diet.
Watch your calories daily and try to keep them in your recommended range.
Check your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake based on your SparkDiet recommendations. As long as they fall in the healthy range listed on this chart above, you will be meeting your nutrient needs.
Choose whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, and avoid refined carbohydrates like white rice and white bread.
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. Through her company, An Ounce of Prevention, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy to apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.
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