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Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)

About FNIC

FNIC provides information about food and human nutrition for the professional community as described in the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (Farm Bill).

Key Tools and Products

DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals

Calculate daily nutrient recommendations based on the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) established by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. 

Nutrition and Food Safety Education

Browse nutrition education curricula, lesson plans and activities for audiences of various ages, including children and teens.

Historical Dietary Guidance Digital Collection

Explore the history of dietary guidance and nutrition education from the 19th century to today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many calories are in one gram of fat, carbohydrate, or protein?

Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, protein provides 4 calories per gram, and fat provides 9 calories per gram. This information is also included at the end of the Nutrition Facts label on food packages. For more information about these nutrients, view FNIC resources about Macronutrients

Where can I find information about food composition?

USDA’s FoodData Central is a nutrient database for researchers and professionals that shares what nutrients and compounds are in foods. It also addresses factors that influence variability in nutrient content, like genetics and environment. Search a food to see its nutrition content, including calories, fiber, vitamins, minerals, caffeine, and more. The Agricultural Research Service also has databases for iodine, flavonoids, and isoflavones.  For more information about nutrients in food, visit FNIC’s Food Composition and Nutrient Lists from Standard Reference Legacy (2018) pages.

What are the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)?

The DRIs recommend daily nutrient allowances for healthy individuals based on scientific evidence about relationships between nutrient intakes, health, and disease prevention. The DRIs are a set of values released by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) that include the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), Adequate Intake (AI), Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), and Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs).

Learn more about the DRIs and how they are calculated by viewing FNIC’s Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) page, or use the DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals to determine nutrient needs for patients or clients. Please note that individualized nutrient requirements may be higher or lower than the DRIs depending on medical or health needs.

Can FNIC staff attend our event or participate in an informational interview?

FNIC is unable to provide staff for community events or conduct informational interviews for student assignments. We recommend contacting a local registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) or nutrition expert for assistance. Below are suggestions for locating a nutrition professional for presentations or interviews:

  • Use the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) College Partners Directory to find a local Cooperative Extension. Extension staff provide education on nutrition, food safety, and other agricultural topics.
  • Search for RDNs and other nutrition professionals by zip code in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) Find a Nutrition Expert database. You can also contact your AND state affiliate to get information about RDNs in your area.
  • Contact community organizations or schools. Local colleges or universities with nutrition programs may have professors, students or interns who are willing to participate in events. Local hospitals or health systems with RDNs may also be able to assist.
Can I add the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) calculator to my app or website?

Permission was obtained from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to use DRI data in FNIC’s DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals. Since the DRI data is copyrighted, permission from the National Academies is needed if you want to use the database for any reason other than personal use. See their Legal Information and Request Rights and Permissions pages for more information.

FNIC's Mission

The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (Farm Bill) established the Food and Nutrition Information and Education Resources Center (later known as the Food and Nutrition Information Center, or FNIC) as a permanent entity within NAL. (See p.26 of PDF)

FNIC strives to serve the professional community, including educators, health professionals and researchers, by providing access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources. The FNIC website provides information about food and human nutrition.

The materials found on the NAL website are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed health professional. 

Contact Us

Use the National Agricultural Library's Ask a Question form. 

Questions are answered by FNIC Technical Information Specialists with expertise in nutrition and dietetics. Please note that we are unable to provide personalized nutrition advice.

Phone: (301) 504-5414

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