Days Food Intake Thesis

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Nutritional Analysis

Food Analysis: Week One

Prior to doing my nutritional analysis, I believed that I ate a relatively balanced diet. I maintain a pretty stabile weight and am in pretty good shape, and think that my food choices are generally balanced. However, the results of my food analysis revealed that I am not eating the number of fruits and vegetables that I need to consume in a day. In addition, I have been making a conscious effort to decrease the amount of bread I consume, because of all of the concern about carbohydrates. I realized that my eating habits are not healthy, because they do not comply with the CNPP's guidelines. On the contrary, I am consuming far more protein than I need to consume. Though I have no kidney problems and probably will not suffer any immediate negative impact from my protein consumption, I am also not eating a sufficient number of grains, vegetables, and fruit. If I reduced my protein consumption, I would probably have more room to eat these types of foods.

Protein

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Not surprisingly, given that I am an American male, my recorded protein intake exceeded the recommendation of the CNPP. My day's intake also failed to meet the guidelines set for both fruit and vegetables. Therefore, instead of my snack of string cheese, it would make sense for me to change my morning snack to a fruit or a vegetable. In addition, my calorie intake was actually under my recommended calories, so that I could add a fruit or vegetable juice to my lunch, instead of drinking water, though that would not increase my fiber intake, which is also lacking. Finally, at dinner I could substitute a vegetable for my additional meat serving. All of these changes would serve the dual goal of reducing my protein intake and increasing my fruit and vegetable servings.

TOPIC: Thesis on Days Food Intake Assignment

The foods in my recorded daily intake that provided a significant amount of protein include skim milk, Raisin Nut Bran, mozzarella cheese, tuna, and pork chops. Almost all of the protein was complete protein, because it came from animal sources. The protein in the Raisin Nut Bran is probably an incomplete protein because it comes from plants and nut sources; however it is impossible to determine how much of each ingredient makes up the cereal's protein. The ice cream and chocolate bar also provided a small amount of protein. My recommended amount of protein was 56 grams, but I took in 116 grams of protein. Therefore, I took in over 200% of my daily recommended protein intake. Even though I knew that Americans generally consume too much protein, I was still surprised by how much I exceeded my recommended daily amount.

I should reduce my animal-product intake to help bring my protein intake into the recommended range. More specifically, I should reduce the amount of meat and seafood that I consume, because I actually need to increase my dairy intake.

It is important that I reduce my protein intake because there are some negative side effects that are linked to having a high protein diet.

High protein diets can put tremendous stress on the kidneys. High protein diets can also result in the leeching of calcium from the bones, if it is not accompanied by people consuming significant calcium. Too much protein can actually bring on allergies, or exacerbate existing allergies. However, while there has been some concern that high protein diets can increase the risk of certain types of cancer that broad-based concern has proven unfounded. Too little protein is rarely a problem in the United States, but is a problem in the rest of the world. However, lack of protein can cause malnutrition and a lack of protein can impede growth. This is because protein supplies amino acids that are necessary for the development and maintenance of body tissues.

Fiber

My fiber did not meet 100% of the recommendation for me as calculated by the CNPP website. The website recommended that I take in 38 grams, and my intake was only 21 grams. Therefore, I took in only a little over 50% of the amount of fiber recommended by the website. Before I calculated my fiber intake, I would have guessed that, over all, my fiber intake was probably a little low, but within an acceptable range. I thought so because I actually eat more fruits and vegetables than many of the people that I know, and I try to eat cereals that are high in fiber and select whole grain breads. I realized that my diet choices may have been a little low in fiber, but I still anticipated that I would meet at least 75% of my fiber goals. I was shocked to discover that my actual intake was closer to 50% of my fiber goals.

In addition to failing to meet to my overall fiber-intake goals, I actually failed to take in the minimum number of servings of foods from each fiber-containing group, except for the meat and beans group. Beans can be a very important source of fiber, but I consumed so much animal protein that adding additional fiber to my diet through beans would not be a good idea, unless I made other changes in my protein consumption. The website suggested that I take in 3.5 cups of vegetables, a source of fiber, but I only took in 2.5 cups of vegetables. The website suggested that I take in 2.5 cups of fruit, but I only took in 1 cup of fruit. The website suggested that I take in 10 ounces of grain, but I only took in 4.4 ounces of grain. In addition, my selections in all of the areas tended to be lower-fiber options, rather than high-fiber selections. For example, I ate a tuna sandwich on white bread, but if I had selected bread made of whole grains, I could have increased the fiber content of that meal.

A did make some good selections for my fiber intake. For example, the Raisin Nut Bran, green beans, and bananas are all relatively high-fiber selections. If I made selections like that and ate a sufficient number of servings of those selections each day, I would probably eat my fiber recommendations. However, I also made some choices that provided very little fiber. For example, I chose a snack of string cheese, which provided no fiber and increased my protein, two things I need to change. I ate an additional pork chop, which provided no fiber. I also chose white bread, which does contain some fiber, but not as much fiber as a grain choice should include.

The first alteration I need to make in my diet is simply to increase my intake of vegetables, fruits, and grains, and decrease my intake of meats. If I did this, I would come much closer to meeting my fiber intake guidelines. However, I could choose foods that were higher in fiber. For example, while green beans are adequate in fiber, choosing a food like cauliflower or broccoli, which are very high in fiber, would increase my fiber consumption. Bananas are high in fiber, but there are other fruit choices, such as plums, fruit, apples, and grapes, which are also high in fiber. Moreover, white bread is generally a bad choice for grains; I should choose whole grain alternatives.

Meats and milk products do not make any significant contributions to the day's fiber total. Therefore, I would tell someone who emphasizes meat and milk products at each meal that they are probably exceeding both their dairy and protein requirements. In addition, I would point out that milk and meat products, in addition to not providing fiber, are oftentimes high in fat and other negatives. As a result, I would suggest to these people that they change the emphasis of their diets, and move the focus away from meats and milk and onto fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In fact, I would suggest the elimination of meat from at least one meal per day, and the elimination of milk from a meal if any snacks included milk products. I would strongly suggest that at least one of their meals include legumes, which are very high in fiber.

Unfortunately, I do not generally follow my own advice about including legumes in a daily diet. For example, I did not include any legumes in the food I had eaten the day of my analysis. In fact, I do not generally include legumes in my diet. I rarely eat chili, beans in a salad, or split pea soup. I do occasionally eat beans when I eat Mexican food, but rarely consume them at other times.

I do not generally drink fruit juice, preferring to eat actual fruit instead of drink fruit juice. I know that if I chose to drink fruit juice rather than eating fruit, the fiber content of my diet would go down. In addition, because people generally consume a greater amount of juice than they would if actually eating… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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