According to “English- Word Information” (2003), “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside” (Quotes: Eating, Food). During the past three days I have been keeping a journal of my meals in order to determine my intake compared to the daily recommended intake (DRI). The results I am about to share with you were very surprising to me. From the foods and beverages recorded in my three day intake most contained some percentage of protein except the sodas. The highest percentage of protein came from my ham and cheese omelet every morning. Another good source of protein was the low fat milk in my cereal which I usually ate for lunch or a snack. Some other foods with protein were the mixed grain bread, bean and cheese burrito, nachos from Taco Bell, corn dogs, and Subway sandwiches. Foods that contained carbohydrates were basically everything. The only item on my list that contained very low percentages of carbohydrates was ham and cheese omelets.
The food items that contained the most amount of carbohydrates was mixed grain bread, sodas, Frosted Flakes cereal, low fat milk, bean and cheese burrito, nachos from Taco Bell, French fries, and Subway sandwiches. Lipids were also found in most food items on my list as well. The only items on my list that did not contain lipids are the soda and Frosted Flakes cereal. The items that contained the most amounts of lipids are the ham and cheese omelets, nachos from Taco Bell, and the Subway sandwiches. When I compared my intake to my RDI the protein and carbohydrate levels were within normal range. Most of the lipids were also within normal range except for the saturated fats. My Omega 6 fatty acids are at 36.6% compared to my RDI and my Omega 3 fatty acids are at a 45.8%. In order to lower the percentage of saturated fat I could have changed my choice of sandwich at Subway from a meatball marinara to a “veggie delight” sandwich (Subway 2012). The protein in each of the food items I ate were complete proteins thus combining to become complimentary. Examples of complete protein foods I ate would be cheese, eggs, and milk.
According to “Fit Day” (2000), “A complete protein contains an adequate amount of all of the essential amino acids that should be incorporated into a diet” (Incomplete vs. Complete proteins). Complete proteins which generally can be found in animal and fish products do not need to be combined with any other foods in order to provide adequate protein and become complimentary. Throughout the three days I recorded my meals, the protein I managed to obtain was 84g which was within range of the recommended 59-205g. The carbohydrates I consumed was 300g which was also within range of the recommended 263-380g. Last but not least the amount of lipids I consumed was 76g which is within range of the recommended 52-91g. I was extremely surprised to discover that my macronutrient intake is sufficient. Macronutrient intake is important because they are the nutrients that provide us with calories or energy. “Macro” also means large so macronutrients are nutrients that are needed in large amounts for growth, metabolism, and other important body functions (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008).
A deficiency of macronutrients can affect your health. A person who does not consume enough protein can affect multiple organ systems. It can also weaken the immune system, harm skin and hair, cause muscle waste, and fatigue. A person who does not consume enough carbohydrates can have an effect on athletic performance and endurance. In addition, diets low in fiber can cause constipation. A person who does not consume enough lipids or fats can have an effect on hormone production in the body which can lead to a hormone imbalance and affect the reproductive system. A deficiency of essential fatty acids can have an effect on the skin and hair. A lack of fatty acids also increases your chances of depression and decreases cognitive function (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008). According to my DRI table, the intake of fiber for the three days of recorded meals was 66.8%. I think that my percentage of fiber intake although not 100% is just right because I am a person who has always experienced issues with constipation and I feel that too much fiber intake in combination with my less than adequate water intake would only contribute to that problem.
The problem I do have with my fiber intake is the lack of fruits I consumed over the three day period. The Subway sandwiches I ate had vegetables in them but nothing I ate had any amount of fruit. So I definitely fell short of my recommended intake of the fiber containing group fruit. The food items that contributed the most amount of fiber are mixed grain bread, bean and cheese burrito, nachos, and the Subway sandwiches. The food items that contributed the least amount of fiber are ham and cheese omelet, milk, and soda. Considering that I consume more soda then I should that is a trend that would explain an effect on my fiber intake. Speaking of trends, I noticed that I drink soda with every meal instead of water or juice. I am sure that has a negative effect on my fiber intake. In order to increase the fiber in my diet I could try eating fruit for snacks instead of Frosted Flakes with low fat milk.
I could also replace the soda with a V8 drink to increase my fiber intake. The only meal that contained fiber rich items were the bean and cheese burrito and nachos from Taco Bell. I could probably try adding a salad with beans or maybe chili as well. The reason I recommended replacing snacks with fruit instead of replacing soda with fruit juice is because my fiber content would not increase but my calorie intake would. Like with anything done in over abundance a macronutrient overdose can lead to dehydration, fluctuating energy levels, weight gain, and increases LDL (Low density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. While recording my meals over the past three days I have realized that the objective to a well balanced diet is to have sufficient amounts of macronutrients which will help anyone achieve optimum health.
* English – Word Information. (2003). Retrieved from http://www.wordinfo.info * Fit Day. (2000). Retrieved from http://www.fitday.com * Subway. (2012). Subway. Retrieved from http://www.subway.com * University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2008). McKinley Health Center. Retrieved from http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu