Note that some individuals need to follow special diets to address particular health concerns, such as heart disease. They should follow the diet recommended by their physician.
Also, an individual's age and health must be factored into their nutritional choices. Growing children, teenagers, women, pregnant women, and older adults have a higher need for some nutrients. For example:
- Older adults need extra vitamin D.
- Adult women need almost one-third more calcium intake than adult men of similar age. (Women will most likely need to add calcium supplements to achieve adequate calcium intake.)
- Pregnant women (and those considering pregnancy) should take folic acid supplements to prevent birth defects. They frequently need to add iron supplements and calcium rich foods to supplement their diet.