Keep It Balanced means making informed choices and combining a sensible, balanced diet with appropriate exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The food and beverages you consume put energy into your body and physical activity helps burn these calories. It's a simple formula: Energy In = Energy Out.

How many calories do I need to have a day?

This is the same as asking how much fuel do you need in a day to make your body run efficiently. Everyone is different based on age, gender, activity level, health status and genetic factors.

  • Calculate your BMI and calorie needs
  • You can also go to www.choosemyplate.gov. Then go under "interactive tools", then "analyze your food intake", then "calculate nutrient intakes from foods" and they will tell what your recommended calorie needs are.
  • The U.S. Food & Drug Administration uses an average of 2,000 calories a day for labeling purposes.

How much sodium do I need to have in a day?

The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend:

  • Consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. (One teaspoon of salt has approximately 2,400 mg of sodium.)

How many grams of fat do I need to have a day?

The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend:

  • Keep total fat intake between 20-35 percent of the total calories.
  • Eat less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol.
  • Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.

Example:

If you need 2,000 calories a day, your total fat intake should be no more than 55 to 78 grams per day.

Fat has 9 calories per gram
2,000 x .25 = 500 fat calories divided by 9 = 55 grams
2,000 x .35 = 700 fat calories divided by 9 = 78 grams

Your saturated fat intake should be no more than 22 grams per day.
2,000 x .10 = 200 fat calories divided by 9 = 22 grams