Diet Analysis – Take home exercise

Diet Analysis – Take home exercise
A. Objectives
1. Research what constitutes a health promoting diet (do you agree with USDA
2. Record and evaluate your daily dietary intake in terms of adequate amounts of
Calories, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and proteins
3. Record and evaluate your intake of cholesterol, saturated, monounsaturated and
polyunsaturated and hydrogenated fatty acids
4. Evaluate your intake of minerals and vitamins
5. Identify sources of important nutrients
6. Record and evaluate your daily physical activity
7. Analyze how health-promoting your current diet and activity level is.
B. The assignment
This assignment has four parts:
1. Familiarize yourself with the Supertracker software
( and especially with how to enter amounts of food
into the system.
2. Record your food and drink intake for two or three consecutive, “normal”
days. Be as precise as possible, note amounts and preparation. Keep a piece
of paper and pen with you at all times – do not omit anything, not even a
teaspoon of ketchup or a single candy! See example in D below.
3. Create a profile at USDAs Supertracker software and enter food intake and
physical activity data. Save your report to your computer.
4. Analyze your diet in the form of a scientific research paper.
C. Upload to the drop box on BioPortal
1. The original list of food items including the amounts of specific foods consumed
(note: if you kept a handwritten journal, you can turn this in to your instructor on
the due date).
2. A pdf file of the report generated by Supertracker.
3. A report on your diet and physical activity. Please refer to your lab instructor’s
specific requirement for the report. Following are some suggestions.
Introduction: State and justify dietary and activity goals in the introduction or your paper;
What do you consider a healthy life style for yourself in terms of diet and exercise and
why (find some scientific evidence). You should take your personal situation into
consideration, e.g. a family history of diabetes, elevated blood pressure or cholesterol.
Address exercise, caloric intake, the major food groups, as well as vitamins, minerals,
and fiber. Hypothesize how your current diet stacks up against these goals for a healthy
diet. Again, be specific, address exercise, caloric intake, the major food groups, as well
as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Results: Summarize your findings about your exercise level, caloric intake, the major
food groups, as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Consider graphs comparing goals
with reality.
Discussion: Discuss how well you achieve a healthy life style as defined in the
introduction. The Supertracker will provide you with information on how well your diet
meets basic requirements, however, it does not give details on health consequences of
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deficiencies and excesses. You should research these consequences and suggest
specific changes to your diet that would address the identified deficiencies and excesses
in your report. For information on these health consequences, a good place to start your
research is the web site of the American Society of Nutritional Sciences at Do not include supplements in your analysis – the goal
is to assess how well your diet supplies the nutrients you need.
D. Example of carefully and poorly written out food lists (courtesy of
Kathryn Pinna)
Carefully written:
Breakfast: 3/4 cup Total cereal, ½ cup 1% low-fat mil, 6 oz. banana
Snack: 6 oz. blueberry yogurt, low fat, 1 fig Newton cookie (1/2 oz.)
Lunch: 1 cheese sandwich: 2 slices whole-whea break, 1 ts mayo, 2 slices Muenster
cheese (2 oz) 1 leaf romaine lettuce, 12 oz. diet Sprite soda
Dinner: you get the idea!
Poorly written
Breakfas yoghurt, cookies
Lunch: cheese sandwich, diet soda
Dinner: you get the idea!
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