Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)


The RDA of a nutrient is, according to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), the average daily intake that most people (97 to 98 percent of us) require for good health. Unlike Daily Values (DVs), Recommended Dietary Allowances do not represent the average American's requirementthey differ with age, sex, and reproductive state. The RDA of iron, for example, is 8 milligrams for a 35-year-old man, but 18 milligrams for a 35-year-old woman. (In recent years, the FNB has been grouping the RDAs and Adequate Intakes (AIs) under the umbrella term Dietary Reference Intakes, or DRIs, which some people now use as a synonym for "RDAs." Diet Power is careful to distinguish between the two, however.)