File - Jenna cochran

Jenna Cochran
13 March 2013
Diet Analysis Report
For the most part I am a creature of habit when it comes to my diet. I generally buy
the same breakfast and lunch foods every week. As for dinner I try to eat a variety of
meats paired with carbs, and either a salad or vegetables. On the weekends I tend to
splurge on a meal or two (representative in my diet analysis with my high calorie
meal from Habit). As a result I would guess that my analysis is a pretty good
representative of my usual caloric intake. While my caloric intake of 2,256.70 kcal is
138 calories over my Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) of 2118 kcal, I have not
experienced any weight gain. On paper this lack of weight gain may appear unusual,
since I am consuming more calories than recommended, but in reality it makes
sense when you factor in the amount I exercise. Although I am not strict when it
comes to my work out schedule, I would say I work out just enough to be able to
consume some extra calories and still maintain my weight. In addition to exercise
countering excess calorie intake, my maintenance of weight could also simply be
attributed to my age, gender, height, and genetics, all factors that can contribute to
weight gain.
My Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for carbohydrates was
953-1,377 kcal. My actual intake was 1,072 kcal, or 47% of my kcal intake. This
means that for Carbohydrates I am in the recommended range of consumption that
is said to provide adequate energy and nutrients and reduce the risk of chronic
disease. In addition I am consuming levels well above the Recommended Dietary
Allowance (RDA), which only suggests 130 grams/day (520 calories/130grams) is
necessary to meet brain glucose needs. While it is good that I am meeting the AMDR
for carbohydrate intake, unfortunately my carb intake does not always come from
the best sources. According to my DRI intake, 130 grams out of the 150 grams I
consumed came from sugar, where as 20 grams came from dietary fiber. When
analyzing my intake spreadsheet some of my main sources of carbohydrate intake
included; Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, whole wheat
bread, bananas, apples, jelly, orange juice, Pasta Roni, tortilla soup, a cheeseburger,
french fries, a milk shake and Chunky Monkey Ice Cream. Although items like
bananas, apples, and orange juice contributed a good amount of sugar to my
carbohydrate intake, I don’t plan on removing these items from my diet for majority
of the sugar is not added sugar, and the nutrients from these items can be beneficial
in other areas. Instead I will avoid items such as ice cream, which had 84 grams of
sugar, and milkshakes that had 45 grams of sugar. Other items like cereal, oatmeal,
pasta, and wheat bread provided sufficient carbohydrates with moderate to small
amounts of sugar.
My Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for fat is 424-741 kcal. My
actual intake was 850 kcal, or 38% of my kcal intake. Unfortunately the distribution
range is 20-35%, so I exceeded this amount by about 3%. In addition to exceeding
the AMDR for fats, I also exceeded the recommendation for saturated fats, which
suggests having <10en% from saturated fats. As for essential fatty acids I was below
DRI goal intake amounts and only consumed 46% of the DRI amount for Omega-6
and 44% for the DRI amount for Omega-3. Most of my fat intake came from my
Pasta Roni, almonds, ice cream, an omelet, soup, a cheeseburger, French fries, and a
milkshake. However out of these foods the largest contributors to my saturated fat
intake (a fat I should aim to consume less of) was the ice cream and milk shake, no
surprise there. In the future I will aim to consume less of these foods and more
foods that will contribute to my essential fatty acid intake instead, such as salmon,
flaxseed, and tofu, three things that actually happen to be some of my favorite foods!
My Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for Protein is 212-741
kcal. My actual intake was 379 kcal, or 17% of my kcal intake. My RDA for protein
intake is 46.45 g (the daily requirement based on grams per kilogram of body
weight), but my actual intake was 94.64 grams. My intake is high above the DRI goal
intake amount at almost 205% of that of the RDA. It is said that it is more important
to look at your RDA levels when analyzing protein, but that if you consume the RDA
and are within the AMDR range then you are most likely satisfying your need for
protein intake. Based off these guidelines I am most likely consuming enough
protein. Of this protein intake I would say my diet consumes a pretty neutral
balance of high-quality and complementary proteins. The high-quality proteins I
consumed include chicken, non-fat milk, eggs from my omelet, beef from my
hamburger, and milk from both my ice cream and milk shake. The main
complementary proteins I consumed include the combination of hummus and pita,
and nuts and yogurt.
My Adequate Intake (AI) for fiber is 38 grams, however I only consumed 20.19
grams. As a result in the future I should aim to improve my daily fiber intake by
substituting some of my current low-fiber foods for foods with higher fiber levels.
Some easy fixes include swapping out an oat bran muffin for breakfast rather than a
piece of whole-wheat toast. Where as a piece of toast provided 2.16 grams of fiber
an oat bran muffin would provide 5.2 grams. Instead of having white pasta from
Pasta Roni I could instead make lentils and add an additional 12.6 grams of fiber!
When snacking I could ditch the sting cheese and pita chips and instead snack on
raspberries or popcorn. In addition to continually eating bananas and apples I could
also add other high fiber fruits and veggies such as artichokes and pears.
Unfortunately my cholesterol levels are a little high, exceeding the recommended
300 mg per day by 26 mg. The foods that most likely contributed to my high
cholesterol intake were chicken, ice cream, eggs, cheese, my cheeseburger, and my
milk shake. The only food item I would eliminate to lower my cholesterol intake is
ice cream. While my cholesterol intake levels were a little high I wouldn’t want to
eliminate things like chicken, eggs, cheese, and beef from my diet due to the chance
of lowering other important nutrients. For example, my protein intakes are
currently pretty average, with intake levels in the middle of the AMDR range. By
eliminating things like chicken, beef, and eggs from my diet I would run the risk of
inefficient protein intakes. At this moment in time my small excess of cholesterol
intake really doesn’t pose that large of concern.
My sodium intake exceeded the UL level of sodium, which is 2400 mg, but almost
800 mg. My DRI amount was 1500mg and I consumed 210% of that amount with
3,152mg. This high sodium intake is most likely attributed to my consumption of
high sodium foods such as my omelet, soup, and cheeseburger, and the multiple
processed and preserved foods I consumed such as oatmeal, bread, Pasta Roni, pita
chips, and Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine. An easy fix to my diet that would drastically
lower my sodium intake would be to eliminate what I call “easy dinners,” which is
anything that can simply be microwaved. This would eliminate my soup, Pasta Roni,
and Lean Cuisine, which had an average sodium amount of 937.8 mg! I could replace
these food items with substitutes such as whole-wheat pasta, low sodium soups, or
other side dishes such as quinoa.
The majority of my vitamin intake levels exceeded the RDA or AI levels. Vitamins
where I met the recommended intake levels include, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2),
Niacin (B3), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folate, and Vitamin A (IU). Some vitamins that
fell short of the recommended intake levels include; Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin A
(RAE), Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol). However none of my intake levels exceeded
the UL. The only vitamin that I failed to meat the EAR for was Vitamin D. In addition
to Vitamin D, my level of intake of Vitamin E is also low, but below the EAR range. In
the future I will grant my attention towards these two vitamins to ensure I consume
an adequate amount. One contributing factor to my low levels of vitamin D intake
could be my fair skin. Where as some individuals can gain a large amount of vitamin
D from the sun, I tend to burn in the sun and try to avoid long amounts of exposure.
Some food sources high in Vitamin D include; milk, cereal, salmon, eggs, and orange
juice. Four out five of these foods I actually consumed during my three-day diet,
however I consumed them in small amounts. In the future I will concentrate on
consuming more of these foods as well as consuming food high in Vitamin E such as
spinach, kale, and red bell peppers.
The majority of my mineral intake levels did not meet the RDA or AI levels. The
minerals that did not meet the intake levels included magnesium, potassium, and
zinc. However minerals calcium and iron greatly exceeded the RDA or AI amounts.
While my levels of intake for calcium and iron were 100% plus of the RDA or AI
amounts I still did not even get close to exceeded the UL. When looking back at my
diet analysis I am actually surprised my intake levels for magnesium and potassium
were low for it appears the majority of foods I consumed contributed some amount
of these minerals. Really the only foods that lacked these minerals were my “snack”
food items. In addition there are some holes on my diet analysis where these
minerals may have been present but were accounted for, for example in my Greek
yogurt. In the future I will continue to eat the majority of foods I am already
consuming but to ensure I obtain more magnesium I may do things like add flaxseed
to my yogurt or smoothies, add dried herbs to my chicken, and snack on edamame
instead of pita and hummus, all foods that are good sources of magnesium. As for
potassium I can swap out pasta dishes for white bean or potato dishes, and add
mushroom and squash to my weekly vegetables. Zinc on the other hand will require
more attention for the majority of the food items I consumed during my three-day
diet lacked any amount of zinc. While I cant afford food like oysters and crab, and
don’t care for things like liver, there are some simple substitutes I could make to
increase my zinc intake. For starters in addition to adding flaxseed to foods I could
also add wheat germ, and I could roast beef or lamb for chicken once a week. My
generous intakes of iron, 195% of the DRI amount, does not come as a surprise
seeing how I often eat some of the top iron dense foods including egg yolks, spinach,
cereals and grains, and red meats. While my intake levels are high, they are nowhere
near the UL and don’t pose a concern or need for alteration.
Food Intake Groups
Based off my MyPlate analysis my intake levels for protein, dairy, and fruits were
sufficient. I consume 5.9 out of the 6.0 recommended ounces of protein, 4.2 out of
the 3.0 cups of dairy, and 1.9 out of the 2.0 cups of fruit. My consumption of veggies
and grains was less impressive, for I was half a cup short of the recommended
vegetable intake and only consumed half the amount of recommended grains! My
intake group analysis matches up pretty well to my nutrient intake analysis,
outlining deficiencies in certain food groups that match up to deficiencies in
nutrients and vice versa. For starters my 131% intake of calcium based off my DRI
amounts is complimentary with my MyPlate analysis seeing as how I consumed 1.2
cups more then suggested. Likewise my high levels of iron intake are supported by
my almost spot on intakes of protein. Some deficiencies that match up include my
lack of vitamin E intake, which is supported by my inability to meet the 3 cup
suggested amount of vegetables. Lastly my low levels of zinc and magnesium could
be a factor of my low intake of grains, for grains are said to be a sufficient
contributor of these minerals.
Nutrient Supplements
While I have never taken any kind of nutrient supplement in the past, after looking
at my diet analysis there are some areas where a supplement may be helpful. My
level of Vitamin D intake was the lowest of all my vitamins, so this may be an area
where a supplement could be used. The primary role of Vitamin D in the body is
calcium homeostasis and bone growth, and without the adequate nutrients to
support and maintain the healthiness of my bones I could experience bone loss
down the road, increasing my chances of Osteoporosis. While I am not usually a
consumer of supplements, I recognize the importance of my bone health and in the
future if I were to need a supplement for Vitamin D it is definitely something I would
consider. The second area a supplement may be appropriate is with my intake of
magnesium, potassium, and zinc. These three nutrients were all under the DRI
recommendations by at least 40% and could use improving. That being said I would
first try and change and improve my diet to account for these minerals before
relying on a supplement. In the event that my levels were still low and possibly
posing a problem, a supplement may be necessary.
Overall Summary
Overall I would say that my current diet is sufficient and I don’t recognize any real
areas of immediate concern, but there is definitely room for improvement. After
breaking down and discussing each topic on my diet analysis, from the amount of
calories I consumed, to my macronutrient ranges, down to the single minerals and
nutrients I consumed I realize that there are tons of details in planning a diet! That
being said I feel it would be unrealistic to try and tackle each and every “problem
area” of my diet. Instead I feel it would be more beneficial to start out with a holistic
approach of improving just my macronutrient intakes, or food group intakes on my
MyPlate analysis. In doing I would concentrate on areas where I did not meet the
recommended intake and cut back on areas where I consumed too much. Because
most of my problem areas regarding nutrients and minerals stem from my food
group intakes, it would make sense that by fixing the bigger problem that some of
my smaller problem areas would too be fixed. However in the event that fixing my
diet with a holistic approach proved ineffective of fixing my nutrient and mineral
deficiencies I could then take more specific action to fix each individual inefficiency.
Lastly if none of my efforts to alter and improve my diet seem to work I could then
consider adding a supplement to my diet to ensure I am receiving all the nutrients