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39. How to use the DRIs

You can use the DRIs to make healthy food choices and plan a quality diet. To meet your needs, your goal should be to meet the RDA or the AI of all nutrients, but not exceed the UL. Whereas the DRIs were released to prevent under nutrition, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans were developed out of concern over the incidence of over nutrition among Americans.

Let’s now look at the second tool that can help you attain a healthy diet and lifestyle, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Healthy eating is not only better for your body, it’s better for your wallet. According to the USDA, an individual between the ages of 20 and 50 can eat a healthy diet for as little as about $35 to $40 a week. If you want to learn how to eat healthfully and shop smart on a budget, visit

The Take-Home Message:

The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are specific reference values that help you determine your daily nutrient needs to maintain good health, prevent chronic diseases, and avoid unhealthy excesses.

The reference values include the EAR, RDA, AI, UL, and AMDR. Try to meet your RDA or AI and consume below the UL for each nutrient daily.

The EER is calculated according to your height, weight, and activity level, in addition to your age and gender.


Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) - The amount of daily energy needed to maintain a healthy body weight and meet energy (calorie) needs based on age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.



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