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A Healthy Eating Plan, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1258

Essay

Introduction

During the time frame in which I tracked my nutritional intake I found out that little changes and slight variations to eating habits could make an impact.  In my normal eating process not much thought was placed on what I was about to consume other than price, quantity and value.  When my diet was documented and reviewed I saw room for improvement in areas that were not previously readily visible without the recording of the results.  With this greater insight I was able to view the shortcoming and missing links of my current diet.  In the world in which we live, the availability and accessibility of food choices symbiotically matched with my raised awareness of my dietary selections will result in healthier food choices and motivation to eat a healthy diet.

Food Diary Assessment: My Current Eating Habits

My current eating habits are varied in terms of amounts of each recommended group each day.  I completely over indulged when it came to the meat and beans section.  Food portioning and food selection were a hidden problem until it was unearthed utilizing the tracker tool.  During the three day analysis, I noticed that food selection was based on my wants and the environment I was in instead of selection on nutritional needs, benefits and results.  Food selection is imperative to health and function of our bodies.  In order to perform at my peak ability I need to fuel to do so, garbage in, and garbage out.

So after the review of my eating habits shown by my inputs into the analysis tool I see that there is a lot of work to be accomplished but I can do so with slight changes coupled with the increased awareness of my eating habits.  I was unaware of the amount of discretionary calories (solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol) I was consuming during the course of the day until I had to write it all down for analysis.  I also was consuming over the recommended amounts of sodium, cholesterol and total fat.  The results were easy to understand and showed me there was room for improvement and the key areas I needed to target to meet those dietary goals and objectives.

My Pyramid Tracker: My Nutritional Recommendations

The results of my food pyramid tracker were not what I predicted my anticipated results would be.  The recommendations for consumption were:

Milk- 3 Cups

Meat and Beans- 5.5 ounces

Vegetables- 2.5 cups

Fruits- 2 cups

Grains- 6ounces

I was completely under my recommendations on milk and vegetables but my recent addition of fruit smoothies to my diet were helping out the fruit consumption portion.  Over the course of the day I missed out on taking advantage regarding hitting my recommended values because I was substituting the wrong food groups into my diet.

The recommendations made by My Pyramid Tracker provided great guidance into the amounts of each component I need to consume and a real time tracker of what I have eaten for the day.  If I miss a key component at lunch I can make it up at dinner.  On the days that the results showed I was over my meat and beans component I could readjust my dinner plans to accommodate my need for vegetables and fruits.  All in all the recommendations from My Pyramid Tracker was to increase my fruit and vegetable consumption and limit my consumption of meats to the recommended 5.5 ounces per day.

Implementation of My Healthy Eating Plan

With the new found insight into my diet I am able to have greater control of the types of food I consume.  The My Pyramid Tracker is a great tool to help steer my eating habits toward the results of a healthier lifestyle instead of eating just to have the sensation of being full with varied results on nutrition, proportions or caloric necessity.  The greatest impact the tool had on my diet selection was the ability to review what I consumed and then tactically plan what I needed to eat for the next couple of meals.

During the review process of my diet I found that I was not consuming nearly enough fruit.  In order to make up for the lack of fruit in my diet I tried to eat an apple every now and then but it was not fitting my lifestyle or taste pallet.  I opted for a mix of fruit, milk and vegetables as a smoothie to fulfill the requirements of all of my fruits, a majority of my milk and a quarter of my vegetable recommendations.  Having the smoothie was like bringing having Morgan Freeman read your child a bedtime story.  It gets the job done and greatly exceeds expectations.

Another key aspect on what I learned to improve my health and eating habits was the foods that sneak into my diet.  Small things that really serve little to no nutritional value such as snacks, candies or calorie laden drinks.  All of these items, although difficult, will be slowly removed from my diet.  In times when a small snack is needed, I can fill that void with a pre-made smoothie or piece of fruit until I have my next meal.

Nutrients in My Diet

My total caloric intake was slightly over my recommended or acceptable range but that could be attributed to my consumption of discretionary calories.  My top five and bottom five nutrients according to need were

Top (Over Abundant): Protein, Carbohydrates, Cholesterol, Sodium and Phosphorus

Bottom (Lacking): Vitamin A, B, C, Folate, and Calcium

My over abundant nutrients are necessary for the human body to run and build itself but having too much can lead to an overabundance of stored fatty tissue.  High cholesterol and sodium can lead to heart disease and hypertension and too much phosphorus can lead to kidney disease(Chandler, 2011).  All of these issues can be resolved by examining the nutritional values of the foods I eat and diverting my protein rich diet into a more balanced diet including all aspects of the food pyramid.

Even more concerning, regarding my nutritional intake, was the lack important vitamins that are vital for my health and existence.  Vitamin A is used to help regulate the immune system, vision, and cell division. Vitamin B, which is made up of B1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9 and 12 supports metabolism, cell growth and the immune system (Lieberman & Bruning, 2007). I am also lacking in Calcium which imperative for woman to negate the onslaught of osteoporosis.  Some of the foods that were great for my diet that I included are almonds, tuna fish and yogurt.  These foods are packed full of nutritional value as opposed to some of my other food choices such as candy, regular soda and alcoholic beverages which contain nothing beneficial to my diet or overall nutritional fortitude.

Conclusion

Overall the tool gave me better visibility into my dietary choices.  The experience showed me where I could make different choices in my food selection so that I can have a well-balanced and nutritionally sound diet.  My diet did not include the appropriate levels of nutrition to provide my body with the right amounts for growth, development, sustainment or prevention of future disease and ailments.  Great insight in to my diet provided more than just facts and figures about food intake but the tools necessary to make a positive change for overall health.

References

Chandler, S., (2011). Why is too much phosphorus in the diet bad for you? Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/419821-why-is-too-much-phosphorus-in-the-diet-bad-for-you/#ixzz1bKrL75Dphttp://www.livestrong.com/article/419821-why-is-too-much-phosphorus-in-the-diet-bad-for-you

Lieberman, H., & Bruning, N. P. (2007). The real vitamin and mineral book, the definitive guide to designing your personal supplement program. Avery Pub Group. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books/feeds/volumes?q=158333274X

United States Department of Agriculture, (2011). Mypyramid tracker. Retrieved from www.mypyramidtracker.gov

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