The purpose of this assignment is to apply what you have learned throughout the Human Nutrition course through an evaluation of your dietary intake. This will involve meticulously recording your intake of all foods and beverages over a three day period and then comparing it to the Dietary Reference Intakes and Canada’s Food Guide. You will input your food record into the textbook’s software Diet Analysis Plus. The software allows you to input the foods that you have consumed directly into its website on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Chose whichever method is most convenient for you. If you are having difficulty accessing the Diet Analysis Plus software, you may opt to use the free online resource Eatracker from Dietitians of Canada (www.eatracker.ca). This software will allow you to input food and will provide you with reports of the nutrients consumed. However, you will likely find that the tool lacks the variety of food and ease of use that is found by Diet Analysis Plus. So I recommend using Eatracker only if you are absolutely unable to access Diet Analysis Plus.
After you input your food intake into the software (Part A), you will analyze your eating habits based on what you have learned in the course (Part B). Use your textbook and the unit notes to write a complete report. You should find that completing this assignment will reinforce what you learned throughout the course and provide a better understanding of the different topics that you have come across.
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PART A: Dietary Records
Select 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day to record your food and beverage intake. It helps to record all intakes as they occur. Recording intakes at the end of the day tends to result in unintentional under-reporting. Be sure to include EVERYTHING that you eat and drink, including water.
Be sure to separate your intake by meal and snack. The software will help you do this. It is something you may want to comment on in your evaluation. For example, you may realize that most of your caloric intake is in the evening or that you snack more than you realized. You might realize that most of your eating is away from home, which impacts the choices that you make. Here is an example of what one day of your food diary may look like:
2 slices whole wheat toast
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup of coffee with 1 tsp cream and 1 tsp sugar
1 Fibre One granola bar
2 cups of water
1x12in whole wheat tortilla
100g cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast
¼ cup shredded lettuce
½ sliced red pepper
1 tbsp Ranch dressing
2 Oreo cookies
1 cup of skim milk
75g bag of salt and vinegar potato chips
355ml can of Coke
1 cup of water
100g cooked roast beef
1 cup of mashed potatoes
¼ cup beef gravy
½ cup of cooked peas
½ cup of cooked carrots
1 cup of orange juice
3 cups of popcorn with 2 tbsp butter and ½ tsp salt
1 cup of skim milk
The accuracy of your diet analysis (Part B) will only be as accurate as your dietary records (Part A). Keep the following in mind when recording intakes:
Include everything you consume, no matter how small. Include every jelly bean, every teaspoon of ketchup, every teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, every potato chip and every glass or sip of water. Everything!
Measure or weigh servings of all foods, beverages and condiments whenever possible. Include the AMOUNT that you consumed. For example: 1 slice of bread or 35 g of bread, 1 tbsp or 15 mL of ketchup, 250 mL of orange juice etc. The food labels on food will be helpful for interpreting portion size. If you eat out, estimating portion size may be difficult, but be as accurate as you can be.
Indicate whether the food is cooked or raw. For example: “1 cup of spinach” would not be a good diet record entry. Instead “1 cup of cooked spinach” or “1 cup of raw spinach” would be good entries because they provide an important level of detail. Spinach for example shrinks considerably when cooked. An entire bag of raw spinach may cook down to ½ cup of cooked spinach for example. As a result, the nutrient content of “1 cup of raw spinach” and “1 cup of cooked spinach” is VERY different.
Describe all foods in detail. For example, for 1 cup of milk, indicate if it is skim milk, 1%, 2% etc. For example with chicken, indicate the cut of chicken, whether it is boneless or not, whether it is skinless or not etc.
Break down meals into component parts. For example, if you had a tuna sandwich for lunch then your diet record should include a level of detail like the following: 75 grams of light flake canned tuna in water drained, 15 mL of Hellman’s low fat mayonnaise, 2 slices of whole grain whole wheat bread, ½ tsp of table salt, ¼ cup diced onion. If you had a salad for lunch, the record should include a level of detail like the following: 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce, 1 shredded carrot, ½ cup garbanzo beans, 1 small plum tomato diced, ½ cup sliced, peeled cucumber, 1 tbsp of full fat Kraft brand Catalina salad dressing.
For mixed dishes like casseroles that you did not prepare, you may need to spend some time exploring items in the diet analysis software to find a product that is most similar.
Include brand names where possible, as you will find many popular brands in the diet analysis software.
Include any fat used in cooking, such as oil used in frying for example.
Don’t forget to include any alcohol you consume. Record any beer, wine, spirits etc. that was consumed.
If you take any vitamin/mineral supplements, make note of this in your written evaluation (Part B).
PART B: Written Evaluation and Discussion
You will see that the reports generated by the Diet Analysis software are quite in depth and will give you a lot to discuss in your own report. As an absolute minimum, discuss how your intakes compare to the DRIs (the AIs/RDAs /ULs for vitamins and minerals, the AMDRs for carbohydrate, protein and fat and the RDA for protein and carbohydrate). Also, compare your dietary records to Canada’s Food Guide and discuss your findings. Because the diet analysis software is American based, you will have to turn to Canada’s Food Guide and make these comparisons yourself.
Refer to your textbook and unit lesson notes when writing. The following are some potential discussion points/questions for you to consider incorporating into your written evaluation.
Were any of your vitamin and mineral intakes typically below 80% of the AI or RDA? Were any of your nutrient intakes typically above 120% of the AI or RDA? How did your intakes compare to the ULs (diet and any supplements combined)? Discuss.
How did your intakes compare to fiber and water recommendations? Discuss.
Discuss your overall fat intake and what types of fat predominate in your diet.
How do your protein intakes compare to the recommendations?
Comment on your energy (Caloric) intakes and how they compare to your estimated energy requirements (EERs).
With all of the above points, if there is any room for improvement, discuss and describe in detail what kinds of changes you would like to make and how you plan to implement them. If you are not meeting recommendations, what could you do to change that? For example, if you are lacking a certain nutrient, describe some foods/meals/beverages that are good sources of that nutrient that you like and are interested in incorporating into your diet to help meet your nutrient needs.
This section (Part B) should be three to five typed pages (single or 1.5 spacing). Pay close attention to grammar, as your ability to write clearly and coherently will form a component of your mark on this assignment.
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The assignment should be received at least 4 weeks prior to the date you wish to write the exam. This will allow adequate processing time for the request, and for setting the exam.
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Evaluation and discussion of dietary records
My average caloric intake during 3 days of recorded diet was 1663 Calories (ranged from 1324 to 1944 kcal). It was 76,5% of my estimated energy requirements (2174 kcal based on my age, weight, height, activity level and whether pregnant or breastfeeding). According to my body mass index (BMI=21,8) I am in the healthy range. The current total caloric intake is not sufficient to maintain my weight in this range having in mind my level of physical activity. During these 3 days I lost 0,5 kg. In order to keep my weight normal I have to increase my energy intake for approximately 500 kcal.
My average protein intake was 87,86 grams and it was in the recommended range between 54,4 and 190,2 grams based on Canada’s Food guide. Also my average protein intake was 21% of my total calorie intake and it was in the Acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for proteins which is 10-35%. Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein for my age, sex and weight is 48 grams (60 kg x 0,8 gr/kg) which is 39,86 gr less than my current protein intake….