We’ve heard time and time again during our lives how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables or to have a well-balanced diet. We also know how hard it can be to ensure that you are eating enough of the right thing. Are fast food restaurants as bad as people make them seem? How do you know if your diet contains all of the essential vitamins and minerals? The answers to both of these questions lie in the results from the three-day food intake assignment I participated in. Using the information I recorded in IProfile, I was able to record my intake of protein, carbohydrates and lipids, the amount of fiber intake, and notice pattern or trends in my diet that could be modified. Initially, I was able to record my intake of protein, carbohydrates and lipids. Of the foods I consumed over the course of three days, mostly from fast food restaurants, the foods that provided the most protein were the Burger King sausage and cheese crossanwich, the Captain D’s 3-piece chicken dinner, a Burger King Whopper Jr. sandwich, hard-boiled eggs, fish on bun, Popeye’s shrimp, fried eggs, a McDonalds crispy chicken sandwich and a Five Guys burger. The foods that provided the most carbohydrates are the Burger King sausage and cheese crossanwich, Captain D’s 3-piece chicken dinner, Pepsi cola, Welch’s 100% grape juice, Five Guys fries and Coca-Cola. Lastly, the foods that provided the most lipids were the Burger King sausage and cheese crossanwich, the hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, pork sausage, a McDonald’s crispy chicken sandwich and French fries. According to the aforementioned information my daily intake for protein was about 93 grams, 422 grams per day of carbohydrates and 11.16 grams daily for lipids. In comparison, the recommendations of the dietary reference intake (DRI) for protein is 82-286 grams daily, 367-531 grams daily for carbohydrates and 18.6 grams per day of lipids. In conclusion, my lipid intake is extremely too low, with my carbohydrate and protein intake being in range with the DRI recommendations. To avoid illness or poor health, this part of my diet should be carefully monitored and modified. According to NutritionMD.org, macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and fat (or lipids) are essential for growth, health and immune function. “Too little or too much of any of these macronutrients may result in poor health and a variety of diseases” (NutritionMD.org). Protein is important for growth and provides amino acids with are very important for building cells; protein is important for warding off diseases. For example, individuals with liver disease cannot produce enough amino acids to support the body, while a normal individual can; this is most likely a direct correlation to protein intake.
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Furthermore, using IProfile I was able to monitor my fiber intake. According to my intake spreadsheet my fiber intake does not meet 100% of the recommendation for me as calculated on the IProfile website. My total fiber intake was 21 grams daily, which is about 55.7% of the daily recommendation meaning my fiber consumption is too low. Fiber is important because it helps the body rid itself of waste, which means I will have to take precautions to ensure that I adjust my fiber intake in my diet. Based on my IProfile spreadsheets, the foods in my three-day diet that provided the most fiber were apples, French fries, and red beans with rice. The foods providing the least fiber in my meals were the soda, watermelon, eggs, and pork sausage. My lack of fiber is most likely a direct correlation with the lack of fruit and vegetables in my diet which needs immediate modification. Additionally, using the three-day food intake spreadsheet I was able to pin point patterns or trends in my food consumption which helps with the much needed modification of my diet. One noticeable trend was that most of the (fast) food I consumed was high in sodium. I also noticed that majority of my sugar and moisture intake along with half of my fluoride intake came from the sodas I consumed. My meals also did not include many fiber-rich bean dishes; I only consumed beans once in the course of three days. Based on the trends found, I plan to incorporate more lipid and fiber rich foods into my diet such as beans and green leafy vegetables, as well as avoid foods that have unhealthy amounts of sodium. For example, according to whfoods.org, eating whole fruit instead of drinking a fruit juice and make a healthy impact on your fiber increase because they provide you with more nutrients such as fiber and essential vitamins as well as less calories than fruit juice.
In conclusion, by recording my food intake for the course of three-days on IProfile, I was able to monitor the amounts of macronutrients and fiber I consumed, as well as positive and negative trends in my diet. This information is extremely vital for living a healthy and illness or disease free lifestyle. I am now aware of the various modifications I should make to my diet in order to have a healthier lifestyle, such as avoiding fast food high in sodium and adding more fiber-rich beans and vegetables to my diet. Ensuring you are receiving enough nutrients isn’t only important for losing weight but also important for warding off poor health in general as well as several diseases. “The worst thing we can do is neglect our bodies” (health.com)
NutritionMD,org: Micronutrients in Health and Disease. http://www.nutritionmd.org/heath_care_providers/general_nutrition/micronutrients.html Whfoods.org Birt, D. F.; Pelling, J. C.; Nair, S., and Lepley, D. Diet intervention for modifying cancer risk. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1996; 395:223-34.