If you want to look and feel your best, a healthy diet is key. Eating right may also help reduce your risk for such serious disorders as diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease. But following a balanced diet can be challenging when you're not exactly sure what foods have which nutrients, and how much of a particular food you should be consuming. Once you acquire some basic nutritional know-how, though, you'll find that eating well is not only possible, but delicious and easy.

Here's a look at nutrition by the numbers:

1,800 to 2,200: Daily number of calories recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for a moderately active woman.

2: Number of daily cups of fruit recommended for women.

400: Number of micrograms of folic acid recommended for women of childbearing age.

3: Recommended daily number of servings for women of low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese.

21: Grams of protein in a three-ounce piece of meat.

46: Grams of protein needed daily by an adult female.

56: Grams of protein needed daily by an adult male.

300: Maximum amount, in milligrams, of cholesterol you should eat in a day, according to the American Heart Association.

1,500: Recommended amount of sodium, in milligrams, a healthy adult should consume each day, according to the American Heart Association

20: Number of amino acids that join together to make all types of protein; those that cannot be made by the body are called essential amino acids.

75: Percentage of salt in the American diet that's consumed from eating processed foods.

1,300: Number of milligrams of calcium needed daily by a 14- to 18-year-old girl.

99: Percentage of the body's calcium that is stored in the bones and teeth.

4: Number of states where fewer than 10 percent of the grownups eat fruit two or more times a day and vegetables three or more times a day.

1,200: Recommended daily milligrams of calcium for women 51 and older, according to the National Institutes of Health.




Healthy Eating for Women. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Protein. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Vitamins and Minerals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium. Office of Dietary Supplements