Food Journal Analysis Paper
University of Phoenix
SCI/220 Human Nutrition
December 6, 2008
The My Pyramid Tracker is primarily recommended, “To offer a healthy personal eating plan with the foods and amounts that are right for every American individual.” This tool creates a more specific diet plan as proposed by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Based on the My Pyramid Tracker, the following are the results of my recorded food intake for December 6, 2008, versus the recommendations (My Pyramid Tracker, 2008).
Overall, my total calorie intake (in kcals) is at 2849, which exceeds the recommended or acceptable range of 1922, which means it exceeds my energy needs for the day. For most of my vitamin intake (in mg), some of them also exceeded the recommended or acceptable ranges. The numbers indicate that a big difference in my intake, which is higher, and the CNPP recommendation. This is consistent with my nutritional goal for the day with fruit, milk and meat and beans consumptions recorded above the recommendation and total fat falling within the recommended range (as indicated by the smiling emoticons in the report). Equivalent statistics in percent recommendation are 127% for fruits, 100% for milk and 130% for meat and beans. I am noting however, my grain and vegetable intake, both of which fall below recommended daily intake but are still considered equivalent (as indicated by the smug emoticons in the report). Equivalent statistics in percent recommendation are 205% for grains and 80% for vegetables. My sodium intake highly exceed the recommendation and these are bad indicators that need to be improved for my next meals and overall diet (as indicated by the sad emoticon in the report) (My Pyramid Tracker, 2008).
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 states “…meeting nutrient recommendations must go hand in hand with keeping calories under control.” This puts into question whether or not my food intake for the day is indeed an adequate consumption despite my total calories exceeding the recommendations. To further understand the statistics and look into the nutritional value of my intake (calories versus nutrient value), I will be detailing each of the items from My Pyramid Tracker report.
First off is fat consumption. Fats come mainly from meat and dairy products, which are high sources of protein. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 states that most of the total fat intake “should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.” So how did I do for fat consumption? The recommendation or acceptable range (in grams) for total fat falls between 63.3 - 110.8. Converted to percentage of total calories, this is equivalent to 20% to 35%. My intake is recorded at 75.6 grams and this is equivalent to 28.8% of total fat. It should be noted that my total fat intake for the day falls within the recommended range. Good! Now for saturated fat, the recommendation or acceptable range (in grams) is less than 31.7.. This is so as not to exceed 10% of total calories. Again, noted that my saturated fat intake for the day, which is 37.3. grams, also falls within the recommended range (My Pyramid Tracker).
However, despite the numbers falling within the recommended ranges, the way best to refrain from eating foods high in saturated fat such as steak, which I had for the day. Always choose foods with lower-saturated fat content. These include low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, bagels, roasted chicken without the skin and baked fish among others. To serve as a guide, I refer to Table 9 of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 shows us the “Differences in Saturated Fat and Calorie Content of Commonly Consumed Foods.” Do the same for the ground beef and see that regular ground beef has 25% of fat which equals to 6.1 grams which equals to 236 calories whereas for extra lean ground beef, it only has 5% of fat which equals to 2.6 grams which equals to 148 calories. The choice translates to a 20% reduction in fat content for the beef. I have noted that always better to go with the lower fat choice so what I can do is combine choices from all food categories ensuring that I get all the nutrients I need everyday. This is because the higher fat choice limits my other food choices. A higher fat choice equals a higher serving in terms of grams, which equals to a higher percentage of calories from fat. This would imply fewer intakes for the other food choices.
My meals provided me with more than enough nutrients for the day. As recorded, my intake of all the vitamins listed in the CNNP list has also exceeded the recommendation. My foliate intake is at 329.4 mcg, which did not exceed the 400-mcg recommendation. My sources of foliate include fruits and vegetables. My niacin intake is at 17.7 mg, which exceeds the 14 mg recommendation. For my meals for the day, sources of niacin include bread and cereal, beef and chicken and vegetables. My Vitamin C intake for the day is 75.2mg, which is more than the recommended intake. Even though I had fresh fruits (apples, banana and fruit yogurt), I did have enough of the recommendation of 75mg. Eating fruits, milk, meat and beans will provided me with the vitamins that I need. Eating more vegetables and fruits improves nutrient intake. Increase in grains, meat and milk improves energy totals as well (Finding Your Way to a Healthier You, 2007). Vitamin-dense foods made up for the calories that I gained from my meat consumption. These foods provide the most vitamins without that much calories. Vitamin-dense foods that I had for the day include apples and bananas (fruits) and vegetables. Fish and beans are high in also vitamin bargains. Even cereals are vitamin bargains.
Next off on my list are the grains. Food and Nutrition (2007) identify “all types of grains as being a good source of complex carbohydrates.” Two types of grains, Whole Grain and Refined. Breakfast cereals may fall under either of the two categories. To consider cereals as vitamin bargains, we pick whole grains over refined. Aside from fiber, we get nutrients such as selenium, potassium and magnesium. I had whole-bran cereals for the day. Selenium stats are at 144.7 mcg versus the recommended 55 mcg. Potassium stats are at 2909 mg versus the recommended 4700. Magnesium stats are at 198mg versus the recommended 320. My grain intake was 5.1 oz I did not exceeded my grain intake recommendations of 6 oz.
Other food items include milk, which is always healthy. Always choose low fat over whole milk. My vegetable intake, which is at 2 oz versus the recommended 2.5 oz, if increased will also improve nutrient levels. Cholesterol and sodium consumption can be reduced with my food choices as well. As I have mentioned in the earlier part of detailing the report, food choices with lower fat or cholesterol content.
Given all these details, I can now say that I have passed the recommendations for the day with regard to My Pyramid Tracker recommendations. The numbers do not just indicate excessive amounts with empty nutrients. I would say that despite having eaten foods that are high in saturated fat, I was still able to obtain more than enough of the vitamins and minerals that I needed for the day. Eating more fruits, meat and beans and drinking milk balanced out my pyramid statistics. However, I have noted the discrepancy when it came to my vegetable and grain intakes. Both fall short of the daily recommendation. These are the food groups I need to improve on. The excessive calories that I gained can be easily burned through physical activity. In addition to a healthy diet plan, exercise is a contributing factor to achieving a healthy lifestyle.
"My Pyramid Tracker". Retrieved December 6, 2008, fromhttp://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/Default.htm"Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005". Retrieved December 6, 2008 fromhttp://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2005/2005DGPolicyDocumen"Finding Your Way to a Healthier You: Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”Retrieved December 6, 2008 from"http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2005/2005DGPolicyDocumen"Food and Nutrition. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food