Description In this assignment you will use the information from the module to determine an ideal target for your total daily calorie intake and an ideal target percentage for each of the three calorie containing groups—carbohydrates, proteins, and fat/lipids. You will then select one of the three days from your food log to analyze and compare to your targets. Specifically you will look at the percentage of calories that you obtain from each of the three calorie providing nutrient groups (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats/lipids) on that day. The idea is to get a snapshot of which nutrient groups your calories are coming from and in what percentages and to compare it to your target percentages that you set by applying the concepts from this module. Lastly, you will describe and reflect on the results, specifically discussing the numbers in your target calculations and comparing them to the numbers in your daily diet. Part A: Determining Your Caloric Needs From Each of the Calorie Containing Nutrient Groups: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats/Lipids 1. Estimate your daily caloric needs. There are many online calculators that can help you do this. You may get different results depending on the calculator—remember, they are only estimates. Currently, a reliable one can be found at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website. The calculator tool is called “Interactive DRI for Health Care Professionals” (DRI stands for Dietary Reference Intake). Here is a link that will take you there: http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/. Alternately you may use Table H-2 in the back of your textbook in the appendix section. Choose a daily calorie intake amount that seems right for you based on the calculator results and your own assessment of your needs. For this example, I chose 2,100 calories per day. 2. Choose a target percentage for your daily intake of each of the energy-yielding nutrient groups. Your target percentages should be within these ranges: The majority of people can assume the following: Carbohydrates = 55% Proteins = 15% Fats and Lipids = 30% If you plan on bodybuilding or doing other strength training, you might want to increase your target protein consumption a bit. If you do a lot of distance running, swimming, or other aerobic activities, you may want to increase your carbohydrate percentage a bit. And of course if you are on a special, medically required diet it must meet those dietary requirements. Make sure it all adds up to 100 percent and falls within the acceptable ranges. This exercise does not require you to change anything about your diet, only to evaluate what you are currently eating and to consider what would be ideal to meet your nutrient needs. Therefore, even students with special dietary requirements should be able to complete this assignment. However, if you have any concern or reason to believe that doing this exercise may not be in the best interest of your health, such as having a history of eating disorders, please ask your instructor to work with you to develop an alternate assignment. 4. Use your answers from 1 and 2 to determine how many calories from each of the three calories containing nutrient groups you should consume daily to reach your percentage targets for each group. To do this, multiply the percentage of calories for each group by your total daily calorie intake. First convert the percentages to decimals by moving the decimal two spaces to the left. Example: Convert from percentage to decimal: Carbohydrate 55% = 0.55 Protein 15% = 0.15 Fats and Lipids 30% = 0.30 Multiply decimal by total daily calorie target: Carbohydrates: 0.55 x 2,100 = 1155 calories Proteins: 0.15 x 2,100 = 315 calories Fats: 0.30 x 2,100 = 630 calories Check your work to make sure it adds up to your daily total. 1,155 + 315 + 630 = 2,100 calories daily 4. Determine the number of grams of each nutrient type that must be consumed to reach the number of calories calculated in step 3. For carbohydrates, divide the calories by 4. For proteins, divide the calories by 4. For fats and lipids, divide the calories by 9. Example: Carbohydrates: 1155 calories / 4 calories = 288.75 grams Proteins: 315 calories / 4 calories = 76.75 grams Fats: 630 calories / 9 calories = 70 grams Part B: Analyzing One Day of Your Food Log The following steps will take you through similar calculations as you did in Part A. This time you will analyze the carbohydrate, protein, and fat percentages you actually consumed on one of you food log days. 5. Select one of the days in your food log to analyze. Calculate the number of grams of each nutrient type you consumed in one day. You can obtain the information for this either from nutrient labels on the food packages or using an online source of nutrition information such as the two suggested here. http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-egg-whole-i1129 http://nutritiondata.self.com/ Document your results in a table like the one you see here. 6. Write a paragraph comparing the numerical results in your actual daily diet to your estimated required amounts. What stands out to you and why? Based on your results do you think you need to make any changes? Describe those changes and why you think you might benefit from them. Example: Purpose To explore nutritional guidelines concerning caloric intake percentages from the three energy-yielding nutrients. To assess your own diet and apply the nutritional guidelines. To practice basic math involved in dietary analysis.
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