My Diet Analysis Research Proposal

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Daily Diet

My Daily Diet Analysis

Healthy eating and ensuring that one receives the proper nutrition is much more complicated than many advertisers suggest. It is not as simple as watching calories, cutting fat or carbohydrates, or boosting levels of antioxidants. Though all of these are important considerations in developing a dietary plan, it is only in combination along with many other nutrients and vitamins that healthy levels of fat, carbohydrates, and other elements of nutrition can be ascertained for any individual. My daily dietary analysis over a three-day period shows that I am definitely undernourished, both in pure caloric intake and in almost all of the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to keep my body functioning at its optimum level. Despite having a body mass index within the normal range -- though it is on the low side -- and an active lifestyle, in general I need to eat a little more and make better food choices to maintain my health.

Day One

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Vitamin C is the only nutrient covered by this diet analysis of which I actually consume more than the recommended daily allowance, and almost all of this occurs at breakfast. The glass of orange-strawberry juice that I drank with my toast alone had almost the entire recommended amount; the banana I ate put me over. Though excessive amounts of vitamin C can lead to health problems such as nausea and gastritis, the extra amount I am consuming simply flushed harmlessly away. It is important that I am consuming enough vitamin C every day, however, as it performs several vital functions in the body and cannot be stored. It has been linked to aiding the immune system fight off infections, and also helps the body to absorb iron needed in the blood, as well as generally supporting healthy growth and development.

Research Proposal on My Diet Analysis Assignment

Day One's lunch is not as promising in the vitamin department as breakfast, and illustrates the basic lack of many of the B. vitamins in my diet. The B-complex vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and B6 perform various functions throughout the body, and a deficiency in these vitamins -- though somewhat common -- can lead to major health issues if it goes on for extended periods, as my diet analysis suggests is the case with me. B6 deficiency can even lead to lesions and sever neurological damage, due to an impaired ability to metabolize amino acids needed to repair and restore nerve cells. Niacin prevents pellagra, which can lead to insomnia, weakness, aggression, and eventually dementia if left untreated. Riboflavin and thiamine also play important roles in maintaining the body's ability to function normally. Whole, unprocessed grains -- even a handful of sunflower seeds -- would help restore these nutrients to my diet, as would an increased consumption of meat -- or better-enriched vegetarian alternatives.

Dinner on Day One reveals a further deficiency, in vitamin B12. Like vitamin B6, B12 plays an important role in maintaining proper function in the nervous system, and also like the other B-complex vitamins one the most rich food stores of vitamin B12 is in meat -- especially organ meat like liver. It is also possible to buy products that have been enriched in vitamin B12, as well as the other B-complex vitamins, and it is clear that my diet is in need of some source of these nutrients. This dinner and indeed all of Day One shows quite clearly that I am sorely lacking in all B-complex vitamins, and could use some additional eggs or dairy products to fix this.

Day Two

If Day One was a disappointing wake-up call when it came to vitamins, Day Two is even more disappointing when looking at minerals. In general, I consume less than half of the recommended amount of most minerals, and the only mineral whose allowance I match -- and exceed -- is sodium, which it is just as important (if not more so) not to have too much of as it is to ensure a sufficient quantity. Breakfast on this day, however, reveals nothing so clearly as my iron deficiency. This is another common problem faced by vegetarians, as meat (especially re meat) is an excellent source of iron, and deficiencies in the mineral can cause anemia and general weakness and fatigue. Iron is also essential in allowing/assisting many reactions to take place in the body, producing other substances necessary to metabolism and proper functioning. Since I won't be adding a slab of beef to my breakfast anytime soon, searching for an iron-fortified bread for my toast would be a good option for starting my day off right.

Though I did slightly (and only very slightly) better with iron at lunch on Day Two, this meal was also a major sodium culprit. Sodium is essential to the body, and is used in the operation of nerve cells and to maintain a general homeostasis with fluid levels and the carefully regulated electrical charges within cells. Most sports drinks include sodium and other salt components as these nutrients are lost along with water through sweating, and must be replenished in order to affect proper hydration. Too much sodium, on the other hand, especially without adequate intake of water, can lead to high blood pressure over time, which can itself lead to other dangerous complications and conditions. The amount of extra sodium I am consuming is not yet at a dangerous level, but it is still far more than I need. A lower-sodium soup and meat alternative, as well as skipping the can of soda, would help to address this problem.

My sodium levels are too high, it is true, but my potassium levels are far too low. Even though my dinner on Day Two provided me with most of the potassium I ingested that day, the 859mg total for the day still falls woefully short of the 4700mg recommended daily amount. Potassium also plays a role similar to sodium; potassium is a positive ion just as sodium is, and both work to help nerve cells function properly and to maintain electrical balances and transfers in cells throughout the body. Potassium also plays a major role in filtering nutrients out of the blood, and so is essential for all around health and nutrition. Cases of true deficiency are rare, but the benefits of having enough potassium are adequate impetus for changing my diet to include a healthy serving of brown rice and at least one full serving of avocado or broccoli every day -- more often, if possible -- to build up my potassium supply.

Day Three

After examining many of the individual nutritional elements in Days One and Two, Day Three seems like a good place to begin looking at the big picture, and the main areas of nutrition that most people usually identify and think of when making food choices. These are, of course, basic calorie counts and the amount of fat one is ingesting. It is more difficult to tackle these concepts n a meal-to-meal basis, as the difference in amount is widely different while proportions in relation to each other remain fairly similar, so I will deal with day as a whole in this section. As noted above, my calorie intake is low -- more than 1,000 calories less than the recommended intake -- so it makes sense that my fat, protein, and carbohydrate intake is also lower than usual, but an examination of the proportions of these elements is telling.

Fat is not all bad, in fact it is an essential component of a balanced diet. In addition to serving as energy storage and physical protection for the organs in the body, fats also allow for the absorption of many vitamins that are not water-soluble. Without a proper amount of fat present in the body for digestive purposes,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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