For the analysis of the my one-day record of food intake taken by the Center of Nutrition Policy and Promotion under the United States Department of Agriculture, my overall assessment for my intake that day is that I think it is just enough or adequate for me, though there are some items that I did not reach the recommended level and some few items where are exceed that level. Well, according to the analysis of Nutrient intakes, to exceed from the recommended level may probably mean that it is good but that is not always guaranteed. Remember that all that is too much is bad. I also realized many things that my diet would probably be take effect. For example, my food intake that day only produces 2033 kcals while the recommended food energy level for me is 2938 kcals. The computation for the recommended food energy is based on the gender, physical features such as height and weight and the activities done though in this analysis we do not consider the activities we are usually doing. Going back to the calculations of my food energy level, since it is lower than the recommended, this may mean that I will likely to become tired even before I am done with all the chores and activities lined up to complete my day. Although I have less energy that day, I think my diet is still good since I get rid of too much fat and cholesterol. See how important this analysis is.
Now, let us see how my intake that day been analyzed according to the food groups in the food pyramid. There are five categories in the pyramid, namely milk, meat and beans, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Of these groups or categories, two of them exceed the recommended serving or the minimum number or units as recommended to have a proper diet for the food intake that day. One of them is the fruits which I take in 20% more than the minimum number of servings. That is I ate a half cup more than the recommended. The other one is the vegetables which I take in 10% more than the minimum number of recommended servings. That is I about 0.4 cups more than the recommended serving. Well, this two earns me two smiling icons in the Dietary Guidelines. That would simply means that I have a good assessment in those groups. This is two groups, somehow can be considered as the groups that are overrepresented in my diet. Meanwhile, the remaining three groups doesn’t earn me a smiling icon, two of them are the OK icon, which means average, and the other is a sad icon, which means it is a poor assessment. Let me try to interpret them one by one.
The three food groups in the food pyramid that are underrepresented in my diet are meat and beans, grain, and milk. I only take in 61% of the minimum recommended servings of meat and beans. Maybe that is because I am not really fond of meats or that I like eating fruits and vegetables more than beef, pork or chicken. Many are saying that meats are excellent source of carbohydrates. Although I do not satisfy the minimum number of servings, my carbohydrate level is greater than the recommended level. I also avoid having too much fat, saturated fat and cholesterol by not attaining the required number of servings. Another food group where I lack some servings to satisfy the minimum number required is the grains group. I only take in 56% of the minimum number of required servings. Maybe, the reason why I do not consume the required amount is that I do not like eating rice and bread. I eat them but then, one serving is enough and I think that would bring me through al the activities for the day. The last one, where I got the lowest percentage of 33% and a sad face icon of the Dietary guide is the milk group. Some may agree to me that usually, as we grow older, we are taking less and less glasses of milk. As I child, we are brought up to love milk because of the nutritional value it contains. Although at some times in our life, we are exposed to the belief that milk is best for children and in this age, we are only consuming about a cup each day or none at all for a day. We go for other beverages, though having less nutritional value, are of more interest to us.
For that particular day, since I am not really picky on what to eat, I think I have a partially adequate variety of food. I only said partially because for a period of days, or some couple weeks, mostly, I think what I eat over that period are same kind of food – his kind for the breakfast, that kind for the lunch and this kind for the dinner. Hence for these periods, my diet is somehow considered as monotonous. I think most of us are not given much variety of food and usually, the food we eat are the food that of our highest or second highest preference. In some cases, this may me good, especially if the foods we prefer are healthy or they are the composition of a balanced diet. If I would see how I am doing with respect to the food groups in the pyramid, I think except for the milk, having attained at least 50% of the other groups justifies that I am having variety on my diet. Maybe by adding variety to the food I consume that day, I can also add percentage of the minimum number of servings of the food groups.
If I would like to add variety so that I can say that my diet is adequate, maybe I should make many adjustments to some limited resources that hinder the possibility of adding variety. First, maybe is the cost constraint. If a food is cheap then it is likely to be bought and eat. And if a person has only limited money, then he is likely to buy and buy the same cheap food and thus having no variety in food. Second, maybe is consumers’ preference and expectation. If a consumer is a vegetarian, then he is surely lacking meat in the diet and over representing fruits and vegetables in his diet. Hence, this case is a problem in the person’s preference that lessens the possibility of variation. If a person believes that eating meat will give him diseases such as high blood pressure when he becomes old, then he is likely to eat the proper amount of mean. Thus, this is a problem related to consumer’s expectation that again hinders variation or the completeness of the food groups in one diet.
A balanced diet is very important. We all know that. Having track of the food we eat is just like keeping us healthy and preventing us from getting sick. Thanks to those concerned institution that is willing to make such assessments about our health.
MyPyramid Tracker. USDA:Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Retrieved July 6, 2007 from http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/Default.htm.