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Megan Hovey

NTR 201 Fall 2015

Personal Diet Analysis


Diet planning principles are adequacy, balance, kcalorie control,
nutrient density foods, moderation and variety. Our diet needs to
reflect a diet that provides sufficient energy and enough of all the
nutrients to meet the needs of healthy people. Earlier this semester I
would have thought my diet was overall very healthy. After seeing my
nutrient results from MyPlate and Diet Plus Analysis, I was quite
surprised to see what I was eating too much of and also not consuming
enough of. Diet planning is challenging, especially with a busy
schedule, but it is essential for our bodys health and wellness to feed
it what it needs.
Macronutrient Analysis
My carbohydrate intake (42%) did not fall within the AMDR but was
only 3% away from the target essentially I was on track in this
category. In order to increase my carbohydrate intake I can
incorporate more complex carbs such as whole grains (i.e. oatmeal),
green vegetables and beans.
My fiber intake (42 grams) was adequate. I consumed the most
fiber on the day of my first journal entry, September 9th. The three
main sources of fiber in my diet that I consumed most, on that specific
day, are listed below:
a) Bear Naked Granola, 100% Pure and Natural, Banana Nut
Portion 1 cup, 560 kcal, and 8 grams of dietary fiber
b) Flat Out Flatbread, Healthy Grain, Multigrain Portion 1 wrap,
100 kcal, and 8 grams of dietary fiber
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c) Avocado, cup, 584 kcal, and 24.4 grams of dietary fiber


There are many health benefits to fiber. Fiber increases satiety and
helps slow digestion. Soluble fibers help clear cholesterol from the
blood as well as inhibit the production of cholesterol in the body.
Another important health benefit of fiber is it provides the GI tract a
workout.
Even though my protein intake (14%) did fall within the AMDR
limits, my protein intake was almost more than double what the RDA
recommends eating per my body weight. There are changes in my diet
that I can easily make on a daily basis. I can replace a few meat dishes
with vegetarian options. Instead of having a turkey sandwich I can
make a salad loaded with fresh veggies and a healthy fat dressing. I
can swap out a chicken dinner here and there with a whole-wheat
pasta dish with homemade tomato sauce.
My total lipid intake (44%) was higher than what the AMDR
recommends. Fortunately, even with my lipid intake being too high,
my saturated fat intake (9%) fell slightly below the Daily Value limit.
Also, my cholesterol fell below the DRI limit, in which I consumed on
average 83 grams.
In order to meet dietary lipid recommendations I need to
consume lower fat milk and dairy options. Instead of using 2% milk in
my coffee I can make the switch to using skim milk. Vermont cheddar
cheese is heavenly, but switching to a low fat/reduced fat cheese will
help lower my AMDR for fats. It is not necessary to have full fat
Vermont cheddar cheese every day. Lastly, I will need to have smaller
portions of avocados and cashews, which both have great healthy fats
but I need to eat them in moderation and measure them out.
Dietary Cholesterol refers to the cholesterol derived from the foods
we eat. It does not refer to our blood cholesterol. It is possible to
consume a diet high in fat but cholesterol free. Avocado is high in fat
(almost 21 grams of fat for 1 cup sliced) and cholesterol free. Mixed
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nuts are also a great choice for a high fat, cholesterol free option. It
would be best to go for the unsalted variety of mixed nuts to avoid
excess sodium. Lastly, tofu would be another great option, especially
for vegetarians, for a cholesterol free food.
Micronutrient Analysis
On average, I consumed 2,800 mg of sodium per day which is
higher than the UL for sodium by 500 mg. The three highest foods in
sodium were the Pho Noodle Soup, Turkey Pepperoni, and Applegate
Turkey Deli Meat. The Pho Noodle Soup was roughly 278 mg but could
have been even higher because it was served in a restaurant and I
didnt have exact portion sizes. The turkey pepperoni I ate on my
salads was 557 mg of sodium per serving and the turkey deli meat was
360 mg of sodium per serving. To help lower my sodium intake, I can
use baked chicken or turkey on my salads and sandwiches instead of
using packaged (possibly extra processed) deli meats. Instead of
purchasing salted cashews, I can choose to purchase the unsalted/dry
roasted option. Lastly, I can also make more wise decisions when
eating out instead of getting Pho Noodle Soup, I can choose sashimi
with brown rice.
My recommendations for iron are 18 mg, and I consumed about 17
mg. I would say I was right about on target for this category. My main
sources of iron came from cashews (one serving 6 mg), avocados (one
serving 2mg), and granola (one serving about 3 mg) from my diet.
Even my red wine gave me 2 mg iron! The majority of my sources
came from plant based foods.
When I saw the results for my calcium intake versus what I should
be consuming, I was alarmed. Since then I have increased my calcium
in order to try to meet the RDA. My average intake of calcium was
about 588 mg, and the RDA for calcium is 1,000 mg. I need to increase
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my calcium intake by 412 mg. I do work out so I plan on having a glass


of skim milk after my exercise along with a small snack. By adding low
fat/part-skim cheese on my salads I can also increase my calcium
intake. I will also concentrate on consuming more leafy greens to add
to my calcium intake. I can incorporate these greens in my morning
smoothies, salads, and side dishes.
The minerals and vitamins that I was below 75% of the
recommended intake were also surprising to me as I thought I ate a
pretty well rounded diet. I was below the recommended amount in
Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D. I can increase
my Vitamin D intake by taking in more sunshine and eating more fatty
fish. Also, by eating more fatty fish I will also consume more of Vitamin
B12 and Niacin. Turkey and chicken are also high in Niacin which could
help increase my consumption. There are many fortified cereals that
could add to my Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D as well. Black beans, navy
beans and pinto beans are very high in Thiamin by incorporating
these beans into my diet I will be more likely to meet my RDA. Lastly, I
can increase my Vitamin A intake by consuming more leafy greens,
sweet potatoes and carrots.
Energy Analysis
My average kcal eaten per day was 2,470 kcal, whereas, the
average kcal suggested was 2,721 kcal. This put me at a negative
250, which would indicate weight loss. According to this report I should
be losing .5 pounds per week but that is not the case. There are a few
factors that indicate why this couldnt be happening.
Typically, I dont eat as much as 2,470 kcal usually its closer to
2,000-2,200 kcal. There was also a night where I went out to dinner
(and had extra drinks and dessert) that increased my daily
consumption much higher than it usually is. I wonder if the results
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would be more accurate if it was analysis of foods we ate for an entire


week versus three days. I also believe the DRI for my average kcal
burned is so high because of my height (59) and weight. Obviously if
I was 51 my DRI for my average kcal would much lower. Im sure
there are days where I could possibly get up to 2,721 kcal, but if that
were the case every day, I would absolutely be gaining weight.
Another reason why I wouldnt be losing weight is because of my
past weight loss. Roughly 5 years ago I was overweight and unhealthy.
I made some lifestyle changes and lost a decent amount of weight.
The amount of kcal I consume now (still being at the same height) is
significantly lower than the amount of kcal I consumed 5 years ago.
My Plate Comparison
Both MyPlate and Diet Analysis Plus Program told me that I am
deficient in Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A. To help increase
Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A would be low fat/skim milk,
sunshine and leafy greens as mentioned earlier. Calcium contributes
to structural support and lowers my risk of hypertension, Vitamin D
contributes largely to absorption of Calcium, and Vitamin A contributes
to my epithelial tissue and vision.
MyPlate also mentions that I am deficient in Linoleic Acid,
Potassium, Iron and Choline. In order to meet the RDA for Linoleic Acid
I can consume more of walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil. Linoleic Acid
is essential for human growth and development. To consume more of
Potassium I can eat more bananas, acorn squash and bamboo shoots.
Potassium is critical for heartbeat and regulates nerve impulses and
muscle contractions. I can reach my RDA for Iron by consuming more
pork, poultry and seafood. The health benefits of Iron mainly include
carrying life-giving oxygen to human blood cells. Lastly, I can become
less deficient in Choline by adding asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower
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into my diet. This nutrient is an essential nutrient in the production of


phosphatidylcholine, one of the most important structural building
blocks of a living cell.
Throughout my three days I did not consume too many empty
calories. Some specific sources of empty calories are soda, candy, and
cookies. I can say I sometimes indulge in desserts, and it
(unfortunately) may happen more around the holidays, but I can
honestly say I do limit my empty calorie intake.
MyPlate and Diet Analysis Plus had only a few inconsistencies
between them. My total kcalories consumed for MyPlate were about
250 kcal less than the results from my Diet Analysis Plus results. I had
a harder time finding the specific foods I ate through MyPlate so I had
to choose something more generic. At first I thought this would make
the kcal count higher, but it actually made it lower. My intake of
protein on MyPlate was more consistent with what was recommended
to be consuming, whereas, with Diet Analysis Plus I was significantly
above DRI for protein intake. Total fat consumed was also a bit lower
in MyPlate versus the other program, but average saturated fat I
consumed was exactly the same. I found Diet Analysis Plus took a
much longer time to fill out, it was very thorough and detail oriented.
Most of the minerals and vitamins that I was deficient in for MyPlate
were consist with the deficiencies I had for Diet Analysis Plus.
MyPlate is a great educational tool for portion sizes. It is easy to
navigate and fairly quick to fill out to receive immediate results.
Unfortunately I do not think the general public is aware of this website,
and I do think it would be beneficial for everyone to be more aware of
it in order for people to see what they are eating too much of, or what
they need to consume more of. I find the color-coding helpful; it is
more appealing and makes it stand out. The results are clear and
concise not too much wording, which is key for focusing on results
versus getting lost in the descriptions/excess explanations. There is
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also the MyPlate App that we can download on our phones to make
meal planning even easier. Everyone is always on the go this way
wherever you are you can keep track of the foods and beverages you
are consuming. The more the general public is aware of this tool, the
healthier we can try to reach as a country.
Summary of Project
Two of the three days I would suppose are typical of my usual
diet pattern. One of the days I ate quite a bit more, went out to dinner,
and had some extra wine with my meal. This does affect my diet
because, on average, my kcalories were increased, as well as my
sodium (for example the Pho Noodle Soup) and lipid intake (for
example the avocados I consumed each day during the log). It is
beneficial to see how in just three days you can see a quick snap-shot
of what you are essentially missing from your diet or what you are
consuming too much of. For the most part, I eat very similar foods on a
regular basis. This is partially because of my busy schedule and what
is easier for me to eat on-the-go.
Moving forward, I will reduce my fat intake by decreasing my
portion size. I am having healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and
olive oils, but my portion sizes were too high which increased my
overall lipid intake over the three days. I will also increase my calcium
intake by adding more leafy greens into my diet, skim milk, and even
some low fat cottage cheese. Lastly, I will increase some of my
vitamin intakes (such as Vitamin A and B12). I can do this quite easily
by increasing my fatty fish intake and consuming more vegetables like
carrots and broccoli.
The study of the science of nutrition is new, we have so much to
learn and have already understood more about the body each
succeeding year. It is a scary image to see the statistics of overweight
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and obesity increasing throughout the years, as well as seeing the


amount of money we are spending on diabetes, heart disease, etc.
The more the general public knows about health and wellness, the
more we can prevent these diseases from happening. Knowledge is a
powerful tool. Luckily, now, there are more educational tools that allow
us to learn about our overall nutrition and wellness. We can
understand more about what nutrients we need and why, how they
interact in our body, and preventions we can make in order to improve
our health.