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Food Journal Analysis Essay

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Food Journal Analysis

My recorded protein intake is only 44 gm compared to the recommended 56 gm. It is less than 12 gm than the recommended. Thus, my protein intake is below the acceptable range.            The amount of dietary protein in my diet must be increased to achieve the recommended intake. The best source of dietary protein is meat. From the website ExRx Diet and Nutrition, one exchange of meat contains 8 grams of protein and 0-13 gm of fat (http://www.exrx.net/Nutrition/FoodExchanges.html). Consume more lean meat with no visible fat to increase the protein intake without increasing (or with just a small increase) in fat.

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            Other foods in the diet that contains protein are grain, vegetable, milk, and beans. Grain contains 3 gm of protein, 15 gm of carbohydrates and 1 gm of fat per exchange.

Vegetable and beans contain 2 gm of protein and 5 gm of carbohydrates per exchange. Milk contains 8 gm of protein, 12 gm of carbohydrates and 0-8 gm of fat per exchange. Fruit on the other hand does not contain any protein. Fruit contains 15 gm of carbohydrates per exchange (http://www.exrx.net/Nutrition/FoodExchanges.html).

            An exchange list refers to a list of foods, with their specific size and type, that have the same calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat contents. Each food item in the list equals to one exchange. Food items on the lists can be exchanged with the other food items in the same list or group. Exchange list are especially important for meal planning.

            Proteins are classified as either complete (contains all the essential amino acids) or incomplete (lacks one or more of the essential amino acids). Sources of complete proteins are animal proteins like meat and milk. Incomplete proteins are the vegetable proteins. Vegetable proteins can be complementary to one another and form complete proteins. Also, an addition of little amounts of animal proteins to vegetable protein ensures a complete protein meal.

            Again, my protein intake for a day was 44 gm. The recommended amount is 56 gm. The percent adequacy of protein in my diet is only 79%. The formula used for computing percent adequacy was:  % adequacy = (actual/recommended) x 100. I was not surprised with the amount of protein I consumed. I was actually expecting my diet to be low in protein because of the small amount of meat I ate.

I must increase my intake of foods rich in protein, to achieve the recommended protein intake. The simplest way for me to increase the protein in my diet is to increase my intake of meat or milk. For example, I should increase my milk intake to 3 cup equivalent from 1.3 cup equivalent. Increasing my milk intake by almost 2 cups adds 16 gm of protein (8 gm of protein per cup of milk) in my diet. Another way is for me to eat an additional 60 g of meat. That will give me an additional 14 gm of protein in my diet.

            Protein is one of the sources of energy in the diet. The other sources of energy in the diet are carbohydrates and fat. Moreover, protein is the nutrient used for building and repairing tissues. Adequate intake of protein is important for the said purposes. The right amount of protein intake is important. Not enough protein, as well as too much protein, has negative effects on the body. The digestion of protein in the body produces acids. These acids are neutralized in the body by calcium and other buffers. Thus, consuming too much protein for a long period of time uses too much calcium in the body. The calcium stores in the bones can be depleted which can cause weakening of bones and lead to osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

On the other hand, inadequate protein in the diet leads to growth failure, loss of muscle mass and weakening of the body including the heart. It can also lead to a kind of malnutrition called Kwashiorkor. The symptoms of Kwashiorkor are swollen belly, discoloration of hair, fatigue, and irritability among others. This disease is very common in impoverished places like in Africa and other third world countries.

            My intake of fiber is only 19 gm out of the 38 gm recommended. It is 19 gm less, or it is only 50 % of the recommended total fiber. Thus, the fiber in my diet is too low and I must increase my intake of foods rich in fiber to reach the acceptable amount.

The fiber-containing groups in my diet are vegetable, grain, and fruit. Among the fiber-containing groups, only the fruit group met the recommended requirements. I was able to meet the recommended 2.5 cup equivalent of fruit. On the other hand, my intake of vegetable was only 2.9 cups out of the 4 cup recommended or only 70%.  Lastly, my intake of grain was only 4.2 oz out of the 10 oz recommended, or only 42%.  Thus, these resulted to the inadequate amount of fiber in my diet.

            In contrast, meat and milk do not contain dietary fiber. Persons who emphasize meat and milk with each meal should learn to pair meat and milk with foods rich in fiber. This will help them to have sufficient amount of fiber in their diet. For example, pair milk with fiber-rich cereals and oatmeal or create fruit milk shakes. Also, they can pair meat with fiber-rich vegetables. Vegetables rich in fiber include beans, celery, eggplant, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and okra. Also, I would recommend them to regulate their meat and milk consumption. They could include meat and milk in their meals as long as their intake of these foods fits their recommended level.

            Adequate amount of fiber in the diet is important. Fiber is a substances found in plants that are not digested and absorbed by the body. Even though fiber has no calorie or nutrient content, it carries out important activities in the body. One of these is its role in preventing constipation. Also, studies have shown that fiber can lower the amount of cholesterol in the body. Moreover, there are studies that show that fiber can prevent different forms of cancer including colon, breast, and cervical cancer.

Whole fruit are rich in fiber. Whole fruits have more fiber content than the fruit juice because most of the fiber contents are found in the solid part of the fruit and not in the juice. For example, the apple with skin contains more fiber than apple without skin and the apple juice.  Thus, eating fruit juices gives less fiber than eating whole fruits. Also, generally, purchased fruit juices have more calorie content than eating the whole fruit. Sugar is added to the fruit juices as preservatives. The addition of sugar to the juices increases their calorie content. Thus, eating purchased fruit juices instead of whole fruits increases the calorie content of your diet.

References:

Food Exchanges. ExRx Diet and Nutrition. Retrieved July 22, 2007, from http://www.exrx.net/Nutrition/FoodExchanges.html

 

Cite this Food Journal Analysis Essay

Food Journal Analysis Essay. (2016, Dec 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/food-journal-analysis-2/

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