How to keep a Food Record

How to keep a Food Record

How to keep a Food Record

How to keep a Food Record Assignment


How to keep a food record………………and a journal……………..

Record/write everything you eat and drink and estimate (as close to accurate as you can be) of the amounts of each food item for four days. One of these days must be a Saturday or a Sunday. Use the suggested “tips” for estimating portion sizes in chapter 2 of the textbook. (After measuring the first few food items you should be able to visually estimate the amounts of each food you eat.) If you are taking supplements (vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc,) record the type of supplement and the dosage you are taking but DO NOT enter this as part of your data.

As you record your food intake, you need to also keep a separate journal of your daily living and any organized exercise and activities; your feelings and emotions; when, where, and why you choose the foods you eat. The daily journals must be kept during the same days you are recording your food intake. There is no specific format for the journal; I prefer a short daily narrative. The information in your journal will help you examine your food habits and help you interpret and analyze the results of your food intake record. (The printout of your entries in the computer is only your raw data.)

* Nutrition Challenge, if you like: See if you can increase your plant food (fruit/vegetable/legume) intake.

How to use “My Diet Analysis”……………

By now you should be acquainted with the software, My Diet Analysis.

Enter your personal profile.
Enter each food item in the computer according to the instructions. Remember NOT to enter the supplements, otherwise the nutrient values of your intake will be eschewed.
After you have entered the information for all four days, you will be utilizing the following reports:
1) Your Personal Profile (included at the top of your diet analysis reports)

2) My FoodList Report

3) Actual Intake vs. Recommended Intakes

4) My Plate

5) Energy Balance, 6) Calorie and Fat Sources

7) Calorie Assessment 8) Activity Summary

What does review the data mean? How do I analyze data?…….

Read and review all the printed data reports (listed above). These results will help you assess your eating habits and nutrient intake so that can write your observational “first person (I) essay”

In reviewing your nutrient intake results (printout) note any variations in your daily intake. Look at energy and individual nutrient intake values and determine adequacy compared to the recommendations.
Examine your daily journal and look for habitual consumption of the same foods at certain times, with whom you eat, when etc. Look for consistencies and inconsistencies in your food and beverage intake as well as your activities. For example: On the day you were so tired and sleepy by 2:30 in the afternoon is this also the day you only had a doughnut and coffee for breakfast and you skipped lunch?
All these observations will help you determine not only how much or how little you eat, but also will help identify the circumstances when you choose to eat certain foods and other factors that might affect the overall adequacy of your energy and nutrient intake. The data can be very revealing.
What to write about….the “I” essay….: analysis and interpretation of results

Based on the results of the computerized nutrient intake analysis and the notes in your daily journal you must write a 3-4 page first person (“I”) essay about the adequacy of your diet, your eating habits and the varying patterns you observed from your daily food consumption. In your essay reflect on and address the following:

1. How did you do with the “Nutrition Challenge” ( if you opted for this goal): were you able to add more fruits/vegetable/legumes/nuts to your diet? (Or, if you didn’t opt for the Nutrition Challenge, and were theoretically to complete it- what fruits/vegetables/legumes/nuts would you add to your diet?) What might be stumbling blocks here? What could you do in the future to ensure success? Looking at your MyPlate report recommendations, how did your intake compare to the food group recommendations?

2. Were you low in any nutrients (Calories, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.)? (reference your Actual vs. Recommended Intake report). List each nutrient you were low in, and next to each, foods you include in your diet rich in that nutrient. Example: if you were low in vitamin C (say 34% of RDA on your diet analysis)- you could eat an orange, etc., to bring your intake up to 100%.

3. How “Heart Healthy” was your diet? List any heart healthy foods that you ate: (fish, nuts and nut butters, flax, plant foods, monounsaturated fats (olive, canola oils, etc.)….. and check to see how you did on your computer printout with total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium… below or over recommendations? Discuss the data (Actual vs. Recommended Intake report, and Calorie and Fat Sources report). What approach could you take to increase heart health benefits here?

4. What have you learned from keeping your dietary intake record and journal of your daily activities? Are there any surprises such as significant revelations about your eating habits you were not previously aware of?

5. Is your eating affected or controlled by your emotions? Do you eat more when you are alone or in the company of others? When/where do you consume most of your calories? At night? Or do you graze throughout the day?

6. How active were you? (Exercise, etc.) Did calorie intake match your activity levels? Reference your diet analysis reports (Energy Balance, Activity Summary, Calorie Assessment reports) specifically and discuss.

7. How did your eating habits change from your teens to the present? What possible factors or situations triggered these changes?

8. Are you satisfied with your eating habits and overall nutrient intake? Did you observe new discoveries about yourself and your relationship with food? What improvements might you want to make on your diet and lifestyle so as to promote longevity and a good quality of life?

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