LARN 2014: a point of reference for nutritionists

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During the two days of discussion of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition (SINU) entitled “Nutrition: perimeters and horizons”, held in Rome on 20 and 21 October, was presented the IV Revision of LARN (Intake Levels of Reference of Nutrients and energy) which is proposed as a tool for research and planning nutrition. A review that arrives eighteen years after the last of 1996 as a guide to the definition of health and commercial practices, for nutritional labeling and for the development of new foods and food supplements.

Within the IV Revision of LARN thereare some innovations, such as:

* The term “REFERENCE” (LARN = Intake Levels of Reference of Nutrients and energy) instead of “RECOMMENDED” is important because it is not always useful to recommend a single value while it is much more than suggest a “reference range”, or, near to intake recommended, also indicate the maximum tolerable level as has been done for many minerals and vitamins

* it is important the concept of the glycemic index of the food sources of carbohydrates to choose foods with low glycemic index capable of reducing the rate of appearance of glucose in the blood after a meal

* with regard to the sugars, the amount of total calories is arrived at 15%, compared to the previous 10-12%, although it must be kept under control, in particular a sugar, fructose. It should also be remembered that the sources of sugars in the diet include, in addition to sweets proper, also fruits, vegetables and milk.

* With regard to the fat, has been introduced a reference range: from 20% to 35% of daily calories, and not more than a single value (25% of total calories), with the recommendation, always valid, check the type fat.

* with regard to certain vitamins, in many cases the needs have increased or doubled, compared with possible beneficial role of these nutrients in the prevention of several chronic diseases


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