1. Assessing the nutritional balance of your diet .
You collected data on all the food you consumed for seven days. If you arc a typical student, you probably eat better on some days than others. Select one day that you think is typical for your lifestyle and eating habits. In Exercise A, we looked at the caloric value of food. Here we examine the other nutritional aspects of food in greater detail.
For the day you chose, use the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Release, Release 13 (see Additional Resources) to complete worksheet 10-3. Look up each food item. Often you can match the brand name direcdy and choose the serving size appropriate for you. Occasionally you will need to pick a food item closest to what you actually ate. Make adjustments for the serving size. In other words, if you only ate half of a regular hamburger with condiments and vegetables, you can get the data for a lull sandwich and divide by 2. Total the nutrients from all your ftxxi and dnnks.
YOUR PlECfc OF THE SUN I 33
For the past 50 years, the USDA has produced a set of nutrient and energy standards known as the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA). These recommendations provide a nutrition reference for people of different life phases (e.g., adults versus children). Currently these standards are being revised through a collaborative effort of experts in both the United States and Canada. The new recommendations are being called Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). For some nutrients, DRI values are available. Unfortunately, revised recommendations arc not yet complete for all the nutrients. There fore, both RDA and DRI values arc presented in table 10.1.
Compare your data with that on table 10.1 and with nutritional facts labels on food packages. List the nutrients in which you were deficient, at least for the day you selected as typical of your food consumption. For cach of these deficient nutrients, identity at least one food item, preferably of plant origin, that could supply your nutritional needs. You should find a food rather than merely suggesting vitamin pills or other nutritional supplements.
3. The vegetarian choice. For reasons of culture, belief, or health, some individuals choose to omit
TABLE I 0.1 RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCES (RDA) AND DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKES (DRI)#
ADULT MALES 19 to 30 31 to 50
ADULT FEMALES 19 to 30 31 to SO
CHILDREN PREGNANT WOMEN 4 to 8
Data extracted from:
National Academy of Sciences. 1989. Recommended Dciiy AA'owcnces. National Academy Press. National Academy of Sciences. 1997. Dietary Reference Intakes. National Academy Press. NationaJ Academy of Soences. 1998. Dietary Reference Inu&es. National Academy Press. *As recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
meat from their diets. At least 7 million Americans call themselves vegetarians. Their range of food selection is quite diverse. Red meat abstainers reduce or eliminate red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) from their diets. Pollovcgctarians eliminate red meat entirely, but may cat poultry. Pescovegctarians cat fish, but no red meat or poultry. Lactoovovegetarians consume dairy products (milk and cheese) and eggs, but eat no meat. Vegans eat a wide variety of plant products, but no animal products of any kind. Fruitarians eat only fresh or dried fruits and nuts. Proponents of Zen macrobiotics restrict themselves to brown rice and herb tea (and sometimes whole grains and vegetables i. Within each category, there are variations— for example, ovovcgctarians who only cat eggs and not meat or dairy.
Many vegetarian diets arc diverse enough to easily meet the USIXVs Recommended Daily Allowances. Although meat is often a major source of protein, most vegetarian diets allow an individual to meet his or her overall protein needs and also consume adequate amounts of the eight essential amino acids as long as they cat a variety of plants such as grains, nuts, and legumes. Meat, fish, and poultry arc major contributors of iron, zinc, and the B vitamins (especially Bi: so some vegetarians need to find alternative sources or supplements. Look again at your food diary. Consider the three vegetarian diet choices on worksheet 10 4. What foods that you ate would you have to remove if you acccptcd each of the vegetarian diets?
Now use the USDA Nutrient Database to examine carefully what that food item < maybe a hamburger provided in terms of nutrients ami energy. Docs removing the specific animal product create any potential deficiencies? What are the deficiencies? Suggest alternative foods that would be acceptable within the bounds of that vegetarian diet to meet these deficiencies. Rcmem ber to consider the loss of calories as well.
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