Background: There is growing evidence on the importance of healthy and balanced diet in human health. Many health disorders are related to inadequate or excessive intakes of micronutrients. Estimation of their daily intakes is, therefore, necessary to evaluate the risks of deficiency or toxicity. The present study aimed to investigate the dietary intakes of micronutrients by the healthy adult population of Shiraz, Iran.
Methods: Duplicate portions of all the meals (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners) prepared for patients with no dietary restriction were taken from the kitchen at Namazi Hospital in Shiraz, Iran during seven consecutive days. They were accurately weighed and broken down into their ingredients according to the kitchen recipes. The nutrient content of the food components and whole meals were calculated using US Food Composition Table (FCT). The results were then compared with their respective Recommended Daily Allowance Values (RDAs).
Results: Daily dietary intakes of potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, biotin, and vitamin C were lower than the recommended levels. The intakes of other micronutrients were found to be close to or higher than the recommendations. The nutrients with highest intakes were manganese, iron, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B12. Compared to the lunch and dinner, breakfast provided the lowest percentage of micronutrients.
Conclusion: Regular monitoring of nutritional intakes of adult population is helpful for identification of nutritional inadequacies, possible consequences and interventions. More precise and comprehensive studies are required to provide data on the issue which can feed into nutritional plans and policies.