Personal Dietary Intake Paper
The purpose of this paper is to analyze my personal dietary intake as a way of better understanding the ways in which the foods I consumer are helping or hurting my overall nutrition and health. This project is about understanding how consuming too much or too little of particular nutrients can be unhealthy and do harm to one's body over time. Even more, this project is about dispelling some of the myths that are present about nutrient consumption in order to have a more scientific understanding of what is considered healthy in food and nutrient consumption.
This paper will focus on some important nutrients that are important for general health: fiber and protein. My personal daily intake will be analyzed to determine what foods are providing the right type of proteins and fiber, and how food consumption might be adjusted to provide for a healthier nutrient intake. It is important to state at the outset that the nutrient intake that is being used for this analysis is only for a one-day period. However, it will provide some insight into my eating habits and how those habits might be improved from a scientific standpoint.
The protein intake that was recorded was well over the recommended or acceptable level of protein intake. My intake of protein on December 10, 2007 was 152 grams. This is almost triple the recommended daily intake of protein of only 56 grams. This was due to the fact that during the day in question, I consumed a grilled chicken sandwich from McDonald's, milk, and a pork chop. What is also important about my protein consumption on this day is that nearly all of the proteins were completely proteins. Complete proteins are found in foods such as milk and meat that contain all nine of the essential amino acids, but also contain saturated fats.
The fact that all or nearly all of the protein that I consumed on this day was complete proteins means that I also consumed a great deal of saturated fat. The web site indicated that my total saturated fat for this day amounted to 10% of the total calories that were consumed. The web site recommends that saturated fat should account for less than 10% of total calories. I am not really surprised that my daily protein intake was so high and so much above the recommended level. However, I am greatly surprised that my intake of saturated fat was so high because of the protein intake.
In order to lower my intake of protein, and especially complete proteins, I should lower my intake of animal products, such as meat. At the same time, I need to increase my intake of incomplete proteins by consuming nuts. This is important because the effect of too much protein in the body can be health problems that affecting the heart and arteries of the body due to the large amounts of fats that are consumed along with many proteins.
The next area of nutrient intake to be examined is fiber intake. According to the web site, my fiber intake on the day in question was at the recommended level. I consumed 37 grams of total fiber while the recommendation from the web site is 38 grams of total fiber. I did not quite meet the 100% of total fiber needed, but it was definitely right at the recommended level. What is interesting about this is that my intake in terms of number of servings of fruits and vegetables showed differences between what is recommended. For example, it was recommended that I should have 3.5 cups of vegetables. However, my actual intake of vegetables on this day was only 1.9 cups. The opposite was true for my fruit intake. The web site recommended that I should have 2.5 cups of fruits, while I actually consumed 3.3 cups of fruit on that day.
Overall, the foods in my diet that provided the most fiber in the diet were the fresh fruits and vegetables, such as the fresh banana, the raw tomato, and the lettuce. The cooked corn also provided fiber for my diet. The fried apple pie from McDonald's, however, likely provided the least amount of fiber for my diet. All of this causes me to think that my fiber intake was probably a little lower than it should have been simply because not all of the fiber intake was from the healthiest of foods and because most America's do not consume enough fiber, especially in line with the amount of protein that is consumed (Haas, 2006). This is especially true for me considering that the trend in my diet is toward more meat and toward fewer vegetables.
Changes and Alterations to My Diet
After having a better understanding of my diet and my food consumption, I could definitely change my diet to lower the amount of protein that I consume and increase the amount of health fruits and vegetables as a means of increasing fiber. It is also important for me to recognize that my diet, at least on the day in question, did not contain any food or dish that was rich in beans, such as chili. In fact, the only beans that I consumed at all on this day were with some rice. This was only about a cup of beans and rice. It is likely that the actual amount of fiber consumed from the beans was quite small.
In order to increase my fiber intake, I definitely need to lower my intake of protein and increase my intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. My actual milk consumption does not seem to be a problem in terms of adding to the overabundance of protein in my diet because I only drank about 2 cups total on that day. However, for any anyone who insists on drinking milk and eating meats with every meal, the recommendation would be to increase the fiber intake with those meals. It would actually be even better to limit milk consumption to possibly one meal a day and have a healthier beverage, such as water, with the other meals.
Finally, it is necessary to note that I did consume fruit juice during the day in question. This is not very healthy in terms of fiber intake because very little fiber is gained from drinking processed fruit drinks. On the other hand, these drinks contain large amounts of sugars. The result is that fruit juices can have an unhealthy net effect on the body. These drinks should be avoided in large quantities in favor of fresh fruits.
The results of this analysis really show that my personal nutrient consumption is not as healthy as I might want to believe. It is clear that consuming foods in the basic groups, such as protein or fiber, is not enough to have a healthy diet. You have to understand the types of foods that provide healthy amounts of fiber and protein. You also have to avoid eating too much of nutrients that can be healthy only in small amounts.
This type of analysis is something that more people need to do. When you study the your diet and food consumption, it does make you think about what you eat. Simply writing down and seeing an analysis of food consumption makes you think about what you eat afterwards. This type of program might be enough for people with unhealthy diets and lifestyles to change how they eat without anything more than personal motivation and factual scientific information.
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Wardlaw, G. & Smith, A. (2006). Contemporary Nutrition (6th ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill.The establishment and development of the ancient Israelite religion was mainly enforced through the use of covenants that held the promises of the god, strict rules that were enforced through harsh punishments, and the use of prophets. Hebrew identity was found within these concepts, which included the notion that the god was with them, and that he would never fail the people that he had chosen.