Food Intake Essay

Food Intake
During my health and nutrition course, I have learned about how a bad diet can put me at risk for several diseases. Knowing that information I have decided to change my diet to help get the healthier lifestyle I need for a healthy life. In order for me to accomplish my goal I have recorded what I have eaten for the last three days on a program called iProfile. The programed is designed to assess your diet and energy balance, by comparing the amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber to the daily amount required. The first thing the program does is have you set up a profile so it can accurately gauge what your daily intake of each nutrition category should be.

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The next thing is to enter in what you have eaten for the particular day that you have selected. After this step you will need to enter in your daily activities for the day. These categories can be easily entered by the search menu which has just about everything you can think of. If you cannot find it you can also enter in custom recipe ingredients and save it as a favorite. Once this is done you can now compare your daily intake with your daily intake required (DIR). The first nutritional intake I looked at was what kind of protein I ate, and if I went over the amount required. The bulk of my protein for the three days came from chicken, hamburger, and pork. Accept for the first day which was 80% of protein required, I went over the daily intake requirement. Nelson (2013), “In fact, medical research shows that consuming too much protein — more than 30% of your total daily caloric intake — could actually harm your body, says protein expert Gail Butterfield, PhD, RD, director of Nutrition Studies at the Palo Alto Veterans’ Administration Medical Center and nutrition lecturer at Stanford University.” (para. 2).

As I was over the standard amount of protein on two of the three days, some things I can cut to get within range would be to eat only one chicken breast for dinner instead of two. On the first day when I was only at 80% of the amount I could consume, one thing I could do to get the value up would be not skip breakfast and eat a couple of eggs. One of the things that surprised me about these numbers is that on the first day I was below the recommended amount of protein. Since I eat meat for almost every meal I could not believe I did not meet the daily requirement. When looking at protein there are two kinds, one is called complete, and the other is incomplete. Unlike incomplete proteins, complete proteins contain all of the amino acids necessary for a healthy diet, and generally come from animal and fish products (“Incomplete Vs. Complete Proteins”, 2011).

This is a very important fact because vegetarians need to add several incomplete proteins to get the complete protein of animal and fish products in order to have a healthy diet. The next I looked at was the amount of carbohydrates I ate compared to what was required. The majority of the carbohydrates I consumed were soda, various types of bread, rice, and granola bars. Despite drinking two to three sodas a day, I still was below the recommended intake of carbohydrates by at least 100 to 150 grams. There are several things I can do to increase these numbers such as, not skip breakfast, and eat more fruits and vegetables that contain carbs such as potatoes. I was not surprised by these numbers being low because I try not to eat a lot of breads, rice, and other items that contain carbs.

One thing that I was in range of on all three days was lipids, which I received from a Philly cheesesteak, burgers, Doritos, and various types of dressings. Even though I was in the permissible range not all fats, oils, and hormones are good for you. Some of these things are the Philly cheesesteak, Doritos, and the types of dressings, which I would try to cut down on or eliminate from my diet all together. I was a little surprised that I was in the permissible range for lipids, because I like eating steak and other items that contain fat. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are the three main types of micronutrients, and I was not in the appropriate range of two of these macronutrients protein and carbohydrates. Some of the effects of not enough micronutrients in your diet can be the accelerated degenerative disease of aging (Ames, 2013). Not only can this happen but if you consistently eat not enough of each micronutrient they can bring on other problems.

For instance, if you do not eat enough protein it can muscle growth, immunity, and cause blood and hormonal disorders. The same goes for carbohydrates, and the effects low energy, muscle tissue loss, and dehydration. If a person does not eat enough lipids it can lead to heart problems, vitamin deficiency, and mood problems. To ensure this does not happen I am going to start eating a little less protein and more carbohydrates. The last category I looked at was my fiber intake, which almost was nonexistent. That being said, I was very low in the amount of servings of foods from both the fruits and vegetable group. There were three items that provided me the most fiber during the three days which are the cheesesteak, Doritos, and tomatoes. Some reasons for this are because I do not eat very many fruits or vegetables. In conclusion this program has helped me identify trends in my diet.

It also has shown me what I need to eat more and less of to maintain a balanced diet. Some of the trends I noticed were the lack of fruits and vegetables which will now be incorporated in my meals. The program also showed me that since I do not eat fruits and vegetables I am missing out on the daily amount of fiber I require. Lastly I learned that even if you try to substitute the real thing with juices it takes away some of the fiber out of the fruit or vegetable.

Reference
Ames, B. N. (2013). Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of agingthrough allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. Retrieved fromhttp://www.pnas.org/content/103/47/17589.long Incomplete vs. Complete Proteins. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.fitday.com/fitnessarticles/nutrition/proteins/incomplete-vs-complete-proteins.html Nelson, M. (2013). Will Eating More Protein Help Your Body Gain Muscle Faster?. Retrievedfrom http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50900

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