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Diet Analysis, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1154

Essay

An evaluation of nutrients consumed over a three-day period is as follows:

  • Calories: Although my allowable calories per day was 2200, my average over three days was 1144. This is within the acceptable range for my weight, and level of physical activity.
  • Protein: My protein target was 46 grams per day, but my average was 111 grams per day. This is within the acceptable range. However, my caloric intake from protein was over the target amount.
  • Carbohydrates: My carbohydrate target was 130 grams per day, but my average was 144 grams per day, which is slightly over but still in the acceptable range.
  • Total Fat: My total fat target is 20-35 percent of my daily caloric intake, but my actual was 14 percent, which is under the recommended daily allowance.
  • Water: I consumed more than the average daily recommended allowance of water, which is 64 ounces per day.
  • Thiamin: My level of thiamin was the same as the target amount at 1.1 mg.
  • Cholesterol: My target level of cholesterol was 300 mg or less, and I consumed 172 mg, which was an acceptable level.
  • Fiber: My target level of dietary fiber was 25 grams, but the average amount that I consumed was 20 mg, below the recommended daily allowance.
  • Sodium: My target level of sodium is 2300 mg or less, but I consumed 2924 mg, which is well over the recommended daily allowance.
  • Vitamin A: My target level of Vitamin A is 700 ug RAE, but my average amount over the three-day period was 430 ug RAE. This is well below the recommended daily allowance.
  • Vitamin E: My target level of Vitamin E is 15 mg AT, but my average amount over the three-day period was 7 mg AT, which is less than half of the recommended daily allowance.
  • Vitamin C: My target level of Vitamin C is 75 mg per day, but my actual average consumption was 142 mg per day, which is higher than the target amount but still acceptable.
  • Folate (Folic Acid): My target level of folate was 400 ug DFE, and my average amount per day was 506 ug DFE, above the recommended allowance but acceptable.
  • Vitamin B12: My target level of Vitamin B12 was 2.4 ug, and my average amount consumed per day was 7.8 ug, over three times the required amount but still acceptable.
  • Calcium: My target level of calcium was 1000 mg per day, and my average amount consumed per day was 959 mg per day, under the recommended allowance but not at a dangerous level.
  • Iron: My target level of iron was 18 mg per day, but my average amount consumed was 9 mg per day, which is under the recommended daily allowance by one half.
  • Zinc: My target level of zinc was 8 mg per day, but my average amount consumed was 6 mg per day, under the recommended daily allowance.

Nutrient Analysis

In evaluating my diet over the three day period, it is evident that I make a number of positive food choices and overall, have an acceptable healthy eating platform. As with any diet, some days are more nutritious than others; therefore, it is necessary to evaluate these considerations when making food choices in the future. This will allow for improved consistency across days and weeks of meal planning. It is often challenging to incorporate variety into a diet and to maintain adequate nutrition; therefore, for the three-day period, I did not modify my diet significantly across days and in fact, consumed the same breakfast foods in the three-day period. This allowed for consistency in at least one meal.

The nutrient averages over the three-day period are high in some areas and low in others. This is not unusual for any diet and serves as a facilitator in making certain that consistency is achieved with future meals. For example, my calories from protein are high and over time, this could be somewhat problematic; therefore, I should consider perhaps reducing my protein slightly and balance this loss with other foods, such as vegetables. Furthermore, My dietary fiber is under the recommended amount by 5 mg, so I might consider consuming more high-fiber foods on a daily basis, whether it is in the form of a snack or as part of a regular meal. My total fat is also under, which is likely to be effective in maintaining weight or potentially promoting weight loss.

One primary area of concern is my sodium intake, which is above the recommended daily allowance. Although I do not consume too many processed foods, sodium is naturally occurring in many foods. In particular, tuna from the can is packed with sodium as a means of preserving the tuna for long periods of time and to add flavor. This is not necessarily the best means of obtaining protein and good fats; therefore, I should consider a healthier alternative, perhaps a fresh baked or grilled tuna filet. Sodium is consistently a problem in my diet, so I must also consider the type of snacks that I consume. Pretzels baked with salt are not necessarily the optimal choice for a snack food when watching sodium intake. Also, another area of concern is my calcium intake, which is lower than the recommended daily allowance. At my age, this may not pose much of a challenge, but as I grow older, if I do not have the recommended levels of calcium on a regular basis, I am likely to develop bone deficiencies, such as osteoporosis.

MyPyramid Analysis

In comparing my food intake to the MyPyramid plan, I am consuming sufficient levels of meat (protein), vegetables, and fruits, but need to expand my intake of dairy and grains. Based upon my food intake over the three-day period, I am low in some areas and higher in others. For example, my iron intake is likely low because I did not eat sufficient amounts of green vegetables and did not consume any type of red meat. My potassium is low because I did not eat many foods with well-known potassium levels, other than bananas. My calcium level is under because I did not consume sufficient amounts of dairy products beyond egg whites, milk, and yogurt. My Zinc and Vitamin A averages are lower because I did not consume a sufficient amount of vegetables which contain these vitamins and minerals.

Based upon the recommended food intake from MyPyramid, I must continue to focus on new approaches to eating and meal planning that will give me more of a variety of foods to consume on a daily basis. I have a strong tendency to eat many of the same things on a regular basis, which is likely to lead to nutrient deficiencies if those foods do not have sufficient nutrients to begin with. Therefore, I must continue to focus on means of developing my meals in such a way that variety is achieved, while also choosing food items for my meals that will provide better overall nutrition, which includes fewer processed food items and foods with lower levels of sodium and no preservatives.

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