Q:

How do you calculate a healthy daily calorie intake?

A:

Calorie calculators help determine how many calories a person should consume per day and are available on reputable websites such as the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic. Healthy caloric intake is determined by age, height, weight and gender. Physical activity level may also be used in the calculation.

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In order to manage a healthy weight, a person shouldn't consume more calories than he or she uses, or burns, through physical activity, according to the American Heart Association. Moderate exercise of at least 30 minutes per day helps to establish and maintain a healthy weight, as well as achieve cardiovascular fitness. Patients with high blood pressure or cholesterol benefit from 40 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic exercise three or four days per week. Patients can also spread the activity across the day by performing a few shorter, 10-minute segments.

Following a healthy, nutrient-rich diet is important in managing weight as well as many health conditions, including high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, according to the American Heart Association. A healthy diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and low-fat dairy products. Healthy sources of protein include poultry and fish. Individuals should also limit saturated fat, sugar and sodium, as well as foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, commonly known as trans fats.

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