Reference Intakes

Reference Intakes (RI) are benchmarks for the amount of energy (kcal), fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugar, protein and salt we should have each day. RIs tend to be used most commonly on food packaging – they are now used instead of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs). The RIs for fat, saturates, sugar and salt are the maximum amounts you should have each day, while you should aim to meet the values for carbs and protein each day. Although everyone has different needs for energy and nutrients, the RIs are designed for an average adult so there’s only one set of values. On food packaging, the amount of certain nutrients in a portion of the food is often compared with the RI and then shown as a percentage. For example, The RI for fat is 70g. A 170g portion of raw haddock contains 0.7g fat, so that’s one percent of the RI.


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