Dietary needs change with age and various medical conditions, so it is important to ensure you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to stay healthy. The daily nutritional requirements chart below lists the recommendations for macronutrients, minerals and vitamins for men and women 51 years of age and older per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025, which is published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Keep in mind that these are general nutritional goals. Older adults tend to have chronic medical conditions and/or take prescription medications that may require a modified diet (e.g. a low-sodium diet to manage high blood pressure, limiting carbohydrates to better control diabetes, or regulating vitamin K intake to avoid interactions with blood-thinning medication). Be sure to work with a doctor and a registered dietician nutritionist to create a personalized eating plan that will improve health and help prevent disease. You can search for a food and nutrition practitioner near you on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website, EatRight.org.

Daily Nutritional Goals for Adults Age 51 and Older

Female 51+

Male 51+

Calorie levels

1,600

2,000

Macronutrients

Protein, g

46

56

Protein, % kcal

10-35

10-35

Carbohydrate, g

130

130

Carbohydrate, % kcal

45-65

45-65

Dietary fiber, g

22

28

Added sugars, % kcal

<10

<10

Total fat, % kcal

20-35

20-35

Saturated fat, % kcal

<10

<10

Linoleic acid, g

11

14

Linolenic acid, g

1.1

1.6

Minerals

Calcium, mg

1,200

1,000 [a]

Iron, mg

8

8

Magnesium, mg

320

420

Phosphorus, mg

700

700

Potassium, mg

2,600

3,400

Sodium, mg

2,300

2,300

Zinc, mg

8

11

Vitamins

Vitamin A, mcg RAE

700

900

Vitamin E, mg AT

15

15

Vitamin D, IU

600 [b]

600 [b]

Vitamin C, mg

75

90

Thiamin, mg

1.1

1.2

Riboflavin, mg

1.1

1.3

Niacin, mg

14

16

Vitamin B-6, mg

1.5

1.7

Vitamin B-12, mcg

2.4

2.4

Choline, mg

425

550

Vitamin K, mcg

90

120

Folate, mcg DFE

400

400

[a] Calcium RDA for males ages 71+ years is 1,200 mg.

[b] Vitamin D RDA for males and females ages 71+ years is 800 IU.


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