RDIs–explained

Recommended Daily Intake

RDI or recommended daily intake is the average amount of each nutrient that is enough to meet the daily needs of nearly all healthy people at a particular age and gender.

In Australia and New Zealand, experts have worked out the average daily amount of each nutrient that is enough to meet the needs of nearly all healthy people at a particular age and gender. The amount is referred to as the recommended daily intake or RDI. For example, the recommended daily intake (RDIs) for vitamin C is 40 micrograms for males and 30 micrograms females.

Adequate intake (AI)

Sometimes an RDI for a particular nutrient can’t be worked out, so other ways are used to help guide us on how much to eat. One of those ways is to give an adequate intake (AI) amount, based on what experts have found to be average levels of nutrient intake within a healthy group of people.

Upper levels (UL)

Nutritional experts have also set upper levels (UL) for nutrients, to make sure we know what the highest level of nutrient intake is that’s likely to pose no risk to our health. As intake rises above the UL, the risk of adverse effects rises.

It’s important to note there is no established benefit for healthy people to eat a nutrient in amounts greater than the RDI or AI. Where there is no UL available, this means there are not enough data to set one; it does not mean that eating a high level of that nutrient is safe.

Both Australia and New Zealand review nutritional reference values from time to time, based on changes in evidence, so it’s wise to adhere to the most up-to-date values.

Learn more

How much protein do you need to eat? NZ Nutrition Foundation

Credits: Used with permission from everybody. Updated December 2013 by Health Navigator NZ.. Last reviewed: 13 Jan 2015