An Introduction to Nutrition, covers “Achieving a Healthy Diet” in chapter 2. MyPlate (found at https://www.choosemyplate.gov ) is a tool that provides guidance in helping us achieve a healthy diet. As you may recall from chapter 2, the 5 key factors of a healthy diet include adequacy, balance, calorie control, moderation, and variety.
In the Part 2 Diet Analysis (using Cronometer),we were able to assess our diets in terms of adequacy, balance, calorie control, and moderation. However, without looking at how well each food group is represented, we are unable to assess the variety in our diets. This portion of the diet analysis project will allow you to explore one of your documented days on your food diary and assess for variety. In addition to variety, this assignment will also provide more insight into moderation (are you getting too much or too little from a food group?).
Finding Your MyPlate Daily Checklist
Locate your estimated calorie needs in Cronometer (and as discussed in the Energy Balance section of the Part 2 analysis questions). For purposes of this Part 3 Analysis, round this measurement to the nearest multiple of “200.” Once you have located your calorie needs from the Part 2 Analysis and rounded them to the nearest multiple of “200,” visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate-Daily-Checklist.
Choose the calorie level closest to your estimated Part 2 Analysis calorie needs value. For example, if you needed 2289 kcal/d, you would round down to 2200 instead of rounding up to 2400. On the other hand, if you needed 2340 kcal/d, you would round to up to 2400 instead of down to 2200.
As an adult, you will select a Calorie Level from the “Ages 14+” row and click on the appropriate calorie level. See screenshot below for the Calorie Level table.
This will open up a PDF file in a new window. This is the worksheet you will be using to complete the next step of the project. Print out a copy of this and save to your computer.
Transferring Your Diet Diary to the Worksheet
Review your 3-day food record. Select the day that most closely matches a typical day’s intake for you. Using those foods only, complete PAGE 2 of the MyPlate Daily Checklist Worksheet.
NOTE: You will be hand writing directly on this worksheet, however if you are comfortable with Adobe editing or other PDF editing tools you may type directly into this worksheet. Your handwriting must be legible and clear. You may need to write it down once as part of the process to identify where all foods fit and then copy it over to another blank form as a final version. You may also want to create your own table in Word that can clearly display the information if you find the worksheet does not give you enough space. In this case, you will still need to attach the worksheet that you took your notes on in order to verify you were using this as a guide.
Use the first column of the table “Food group targets” for guidance on determining portion sizes equivalent to a serving from that food group. For example, in the red box below, we can see we need 1 ½ cups of fruit for the day and that 1 cup of fruit is either 1 cup of raw or cooked fruit, ½ cup dried fruit, or 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of 100% fruit juice. For the other food groups similar guidance is provided.
Some foods you have eaten may be “combination” foods, meaning they have components from more than 1 food group. You will want to split those up as ingredients or components and place each piece into the respective food group. For example, if you had 2 slices of a medium pizza with tomato sauce, vegetables, mozzarella cheese, and ground beef, we can identify 4 different food groups. You would count the crust as a starch (typically 1 ounce of grain per each slice), the tomato sauce and veggies on top count as vegetables, the mozzarella falls under dairy, and the ground beef is in the protein group. Include each ingredient in the correct group. DO NOT simply write pizza as a single food in a single category.
Write the foods or food components (ingredients) into the second column where it says to write in your foods. This is identified in the blue box on the graphic below. Fill this in for all foods in their respective food groups