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Guideline Daily Amounts explained

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Woman looking at food label in supermarket
Food labelling can be confusing, especially with all the percentages and weights. Do you understand the Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) of how much sugar, salt or saturated fat is healthy to be consuming each day? Read on with our helpful guide.

What are GDAs?
GDAs are the Guideline Daily Amounts of nutrients recommended per day per person. Lots of food has a label on the packaging which will tell you at a glance how many calories and how much sugar, salt, saturates and fat there are in a portion and the percentage of your GDA in that portion. If you try to eat no more than the recommended guideline daily amounts, you will be eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Are the GDAs the same for men, women and children?
GDAs are based on recommendations for an average adult of healthy weight and average activity level. Because children have different needs to adults, they have different GDAs. See below for a chart to find out more about what your GDA should be.

.CaloriesSugarsFatSaturatesSalt
Women200090g70g20g6g
Men2500120g95g30g6g
Kids 5-10180085g70g20g4g


I can't understand the GDA amounts
Let's have a look at the GDA of one of our most popular recipes, our roast beef with red wine glaze.

CaloriesSugarsFatSaturatesSalt
3929g10g4g0.4g
20%10%14%20%7%
.


Take saturated fat, for example. A portion of this roast beef contains 4g of saturated fat which is 20% of the Guideline Daily Amount of saturated fat you should be eating. If you ate five portions you would reach 100% of the Guideline Daily Amount of saturated fat. Any more portions would take you over that amount, meaning that you have eaten an unhealthy amount of saturated fats that day.

Where to next? Find out what nutritionist Monica Grenfell thinks of the diets of goodtoknow regulars, Rosalind Lynch, Caroline Moisy and Lisa Woollaston

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