Nutrition Analysis Part 3

Posted on: 14th May 2023


Your textbook, An Introduction to Nutrition, covers “Achieving a Healthy Diet” in chapter 2. MyPlate (found at ) is a tool that provides guidance in helping us achieve a healthy diet. As you may recall from chapter 2, the 5 key factors of a healthy diet include adequacy, balance, calorie control, moderation, and variety. In the Diet Analysis Part 2 (using Cronometer), we were able to assess our diets in terms of adequacy, balance, calorie control, and moderation. However, without looking at how well each food group is represented, we are unable to assess the variety in our diets. This portion of the diet analysis project will allow you to explore one of your documented days on your food diary and assess for variety. In addition to variety, this assignment will also provide more insight into moderation (are you getting too much or too little from a food group?).

Step 1: Finding Your MyPlate Daily Checklist

Locate your estimated calorie needs in Cronometer (and as discussed in the Energy Balance section of the Part 2 analysis questions). For purposes of this Part 3 Analysis, round this measurement to the nearest multiple of “200.” For example, if you needed 2289 kcal/d, you would round down to 2200 instead of rounding up to 2400. On the other hand, if you needed 2340 kcal/d, you would round to up to 2400 instead of down to 2200.

Once you have located your calorie needs from the Part 2 Analysis and rounded them to the nearest multiple of “200,” use this link to open the Calorie Level document (PDF format). Save the Calorie Level document to your computer. The calorie levels in the document are for "Ages 14+."

You will only need 2 pages from this 26-page, Calorie Level document:

Page 1 — The first page of the Checklist pages explains the information contained in the Checklist.

Page 2 — Scroll through the Calorie Level document to locate the MyPlate Daily Checklist pages that have the calorie level closest to your estimated Dietary Analysis Part 2 calorie needs value from Cronometer.

This second page is the checklist worksheet that you will complete as partial fulfillment of Dietary Analysis Part 3.

Note: there are 12 different Food Group target option pages ranging from 1000 calories to 3200 calories -- be certain to choose the calorie level page closest to your estimated Dietary Analysis Part 2.

The range is from 1000 calorie level... 3200 calorie level

You can print the checklist worksheet for your calorie level or use the Adobe extract tool to save the single Checklist Worksheet page that is closest to your calorie level to a new file for you to save and print/edit.

This is the worksheet you will be using to complete the next step (Step 2) of the project. Print out a copy of this and save to your computer.

Step 2: Transferring Your Diet Diary to the Worksheet

Review your 3-day food record. Select the day that most closely matches a typical day’s intake for you. Using those foods only, complete PAGE 2, the MyPlate Daily Checklist Worksheet.

NOTE: If you printed the Checklist Worksheet, you will be hand writing directly on this worksheet. If you are comfortable with Adobe editing or other PDF editing tools, you may type directly into this worksheet. (Important: If you type in the PDF document, submit *ONLY* the page for the Checklist that is closest to your calorie level. Do not submit all the original pages in the Calorie Level document.) For hand-written worksheets, your handwriting must be legible and clear. You may need to write it down first as part of the process to identify where all foods fit and then copy it over to another blank form as a final version. You may also want to create your own table in Word that can clearly display the information if you find the worksheet does not give you enough space. If you use a table in Word, you will still need to attach the worksheet to verify you were using the Checklist Worksheet closest to your calorie level as a guide.

Refer to the image below of an example 1,800 calorie MyPlate Checklist Worksheet to follow along with the instructions below.

Use the first column of the worksheet “Food group targets” for guidance on determining portion sizes equivalent to a serving for each food group. For example, in the red box below, we can see we need 1 ½ cups of fruit for each day and that 1 cup of fruit is either 1 cup of raw or cooked fruit, ½ cup dried fruit, or 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of 100% fruit juice. Similar guidance is provided for the other food groups.

Some foods you have eaten may be “combination” foods, meaning they have components from more than 1 food group. You will want to split those up as ingredients or components and place each piece into the respective food group. For example, if you had 2 slices of a medium pizza with tomato sauce, vegetables, mozzarella cheese, and ground beef, we can identify 4 different food groups. You would count the crust as a starch (typically 1 ounce of grain per each slice), the tomato sauce and veggies on top count as vegetables, the mozzarella falls under dairy, and the ground beef is in the protein group. Include each ingredient in the correct group. DO NOT simply write pizza as a single food in a single category.

Write the foods or food components (ingredients) into the second column where it says "Write your food choices for each food group." The blue box on the graphic below bounds the section where foods or food components (ingredients) would be written for the Vegetables food group. Fill this in for all foods in their respective food groups.

Next, determine if you reached your target by comparing the information in column 1 (’Food group targets’) with the information you filled into column 2 (‘food choices’). In column 3, indicated by the green oval in the graphic below, check off Y or N as appropriate. Y if you reached your target and N if you did not reach your target.

The last step in Step 2 is to assess your “limits”. Sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars are all areas that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting. Using your Part 2 Diet Analysis Cronometer Nutrition Report screenshot check on your milligrams of sodium and grams of saturated fat intake. If your sodium and saturated fat values from Part 2 Diet Analysis Cronometer report are below the bolded values shown in the rightmost area called “Limit” below, check Y. Otherwise, check N. Your bolded values for the saturated fat “limit” will be unique to your calorie level, so do not worry if it’s not 20 grams like in the example below. (Note: Tracking added sugar in foods is new to food labeling, and your Dietary Analysis Part 2 Cronometer results do not include this. They list total sugars, which does not differentiate between natural sugars (like those in fruit and milk) and added sugars; therefore, we will not be including this in the project.)

Step 3: Assessing Your Intake for Variety and Moderation

It is possible that although your Part 2: Diet Analysis Cronometer Nutrition report showed your diet was adequate in nutrients, met calorie goals, and balanced in terms of nutrients, your diet is lacking variety and not showing moderation in terms of the food groups (one is too high or too low, resulting in too much or too little of another food group). This portion of the diet analysis project will focus on your critical analysis of your intake for one day as compared to recommendations from MyPlate for variety and moderation in the food groups.

You will provide this analysis as a written paper. The paper should include an introduction paragraph, one paragraph for each of the 5 food groups, one paragraph on the “limits” (sodium and saturated fat), and a conclusion--Eight (8) paragraphs in total.

Introduction: This should tell the reader what they will expect to read about in your paper. The main focus here is that you are introducing a review of your diet in terms of variety, moderation, and how well it matches up to recommendations about food groups.

Body of the paper: Aim for one complete paragraph (3-5 sentences is a good goal to aim for) addressing each food group and the limits. This means you will have six (6) paragraphs in total for the body of the paper.

For each food group support the determination you made (Y or N) in column 3 of your worksheet- Did you reach your target? Clearly state if you believe you did/did NOT meet the recommendation and how you came to this conclusion. Which foods did you classify in this food group and how did you come up with the total number of servings? Do this for each of the 5 food groups.

Once you have this for all food groups, write an analysis for the limits. If you exceeded sodium and/or saturated fat, identify which foods in your diet for the day resulted in being over the limit(s). If you were under for one or both, comment on how you made choices to keep those to a minimum. In the event no decisions were made specifically with awareness of sodium and saturated fat content, that is fine, however you will want to comment on this still and not skip over a critical analysis of your intake impacting those values.

Conclusion: This is the last paragraph (#8) of the paper. Here is where you present your final argument using the preceding evidence presented in the body of the paper to support whether or not your diet for that one-day was varied and exhibited moderation. The key aspects to address here are specifically variety and moderation as presented in An Introduction to Nutrition chapter 2 using MyPlate as your set of guidelines.

Step 4: Submission

You will need to submit 2 files to the Dietary Analysis Part 3 assignment folder in LEO. The first item to submit to the assignment folder is either a PDF version or a scanned version of your worksheet. Even if you feel your handwriting is not clear, you must be able to show that you worked through this activity. This must be included to be eligible for full credit. The second file to include is your paper (Step 3). This must be submitted as a Word, PDF, or .txt document. If you are a Mac user and have Pages, please “Save As” a Word, PDF, or .txt file. If the file cannot be opened, you risk getting a ‘0’ for the assignment. If you have completed the Worksheet as a Word doc to make reading it more clear, include this as an appendix in your Dietary Analysis Part 3 paper. Do not submit as a third file.

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illustration of a woman populating a checklist.


Nutrition Analysis Part 3

My diet is quite dynamic, given the variety of food groups and that I sometimes skip meals or take very little in a day. From the analysis of the food groups, none of them reached the targeted goals in considering my height and weight needs. This included low energy levels, vitamin intake, and proteins. Most of the consumption per day yielded sol low calories and protein levels compared to the requirements of my body. Despite this, within the three days, there was a wide variety of foods which at least included some portion of most of the food groups. However, there are incidences where eating as much during the day and some days where I could even skip some of the meals. This significantly contributed to the moderation of food intake. However, despite the variety and moderation, it was still difficult to meet the recommended intake levels, and there were no limits exceeded. In this part, the focus of the dietary intake is on day two, which was completed based on the cronometer and checklist to determine if the targets were reached, and limits exceeded. There will also be a discussion on how the variety and moderation were achieved to achieve some form of balance in the average needs of the nutrients in the body.

The first food group is the fruits. Based on the checklist and chronometer results, I did not meet my target, which was estimated by the cronometer based on my height and weight. Despite an intake of some fruits on day two, the number of vitamins averaged did not meet the targeted requirements and was low on most of the vitamin types in the body. In this case, I took just a slice of orange on the morning of day two, and then later in the day, when having supper, I took a full glass of juice that measures 400ml. I just cut four quarters for the orange and took only one, while it was naturally blended for the fruit juice. This means that there were no sodium, fat saturation, or added sugars in this food group. However, there were natural sugars, but I could not tell the exact amount of the sugar level in the fruits. The juice was orange juice again, which mainly contains vitamin A. Based on the RDI calculations from the cronometer and the recommended targets based on my height and weight, the results indicated that my vitamin production from the fruit or fresh juice intake on the second day did not meet the target as it was lower.

The second food group includes vegetables. On the second day, I took broccoli during lunch. I added some vegetables with more broccoli, one-half of the green capsicum, and coriander leaves when cooking supper. I was targeting at least to get fiber, folate, and especially some vitamins with this. I later learned that I could get potassium from the vegetables as well. However, I am used to adding these toppings when cooking any meat and sometimes more spices. Despite this inclusion, the intake was too low, contributing again to not meeting the target. Based on the chronometer values of the minerals and nutrients produced related to the vegetable intake, these values were not met. Besides, there was o variety or primary consideration of moderation during this day. I randomly put these toppings in small portions to spice up the food, and I like taking it alone sometimes when cooked for broccoli. Therefore, I did not reach the daily requirement for this particular food. Besides, it also did not include any added sugars or saturation fat because the vegetables have low fat and sugar content. Also, no sodium element was added that could surpass the average limits based on the chronometer results and checklist requirements.

The third food group includes grains. This includes even products from wheat and any types of grains. Therefore, on the second day, I took pretty many grain-related foods. This was mostly from grain due to the taking of toasted bread of six slices and then four pieces during lunch. At around 4 pm, I also took some roasted groundnuts, although I could not accurately determine the quantity as it was just a handful. The whole bread is about 400grams, and it is cut into 13 equal slices. Although wheat can have some calcium and fats, the principal nutritional value is the number of calories produced because of the carbohydrate content. In this case, the primary measure was the energy created from the intake in consideration of the energy requirements in the body. Although my energy levels for the three days were lower than the targets, on this particular day, I took about 2125kcal and burned 2116kcal. This was the closes I was to meet my energy levels, but I still needed 615kcal more to reach my daily target. However, in this case, the fats were not saturated, and there were no added sugars as everything was natural.

The fourth group includes proteins. Proteins play a critical function in the body, significantly facilitating metabolic reactions, body tissue repair, and coordination of other bodily roles. On the second day, I took two scrambled eggs in the morning for breakfast. I took baked beans as part of lunch at mid-day, and I also took white chicken during supper. All these food are rich in protein content, among other micronutrients. Based on the chronometer results, I reached this target based on the AMDRs ranges. In this case, the acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs) from my body weight, height, and age, are between 7-20%. Based on the calculation of the cronometer, my intake this day was averaged at 13%, which indicated I had met my target. However, there were no limits exceeded as low-fat content, low sugars, and low sodium content.

The last group includes dairy. This primarily entails anything that consists of some form of milk or milk products. On the second day, I took a glass of milk in the morning of 400ml; then, at lunch, I took packed chocolate milk of 350ml. I also used cheese during supper when cooking the chicken nachos, but this was just a tiny scoop using a tablespoon. Based on the cronometer, this resulted in some added sugar and high fat contribution in addition to other mineral and vitamin values. The fat in the body due to the milk intake and other sources of fat such as cooking oil resulted in 27% fats consumed on the second day. This is slightly above the recommended AMDRs of 15-25%. Therefore, I was able to reach the targets and exceed them. Despite some saturated fats in the milk content and cheese and added sugars, especially in the chocolate milk, these values were still low compared to the limits set for the two values.

There was no exceeding the limits from any five food groups, including saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium. First, most of the food contained some level of sodium. However, they were low compared to the recommended limits of the mineral. The milk and cheese products and other sources of fats used during the day primarily entail a high level of saturated fat. The intake levels lead to exceeding the recommended fat level in the body. Third, most food contains only natural sugar, which is quite challenging to determine the content of added sugars. However, there was a small amount of added sugars when taking the chocolate milk. Despite this, the food groups did not exceed the limits of the added sugars on the second day.

In conclusion, the cronometer helped me determine how to group the foods according to various nutritional values correctly. Further, it also helped me choose the ideal food intake to reach particular targets based on my age, weight, and height calculations. Through evaluating the nutritional values of the second day’s meal, I also learned specific food groups from which I have to increase intake. This is especially the carbohydrates intake to reach the required energy levels in the body. I also learned how to maintain some of the diet plans for the days that helped me get the targets, such as in the case of proteins and fats. However, I must consider diet moderation to consume a balanced diet in small servings during the day to maintain the recommended AMDR range. Regarding variety, there are many other sources of the nutrients required to produce various nutritional values for the body besides what I took on the second day. Therefore, ensuring that I can measure the content level of a particular nutrient is critical in planning daily meals to reach the targets while maintaining a variety of foods and moderating the amounts taken and frequency to achieve the targets.

Peter Seiyanoi

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