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A 3-Day Diet Analysis With the USDA Food Pyramid

Introduction

First day 07/3/2011

1115hrs – Lunch

  • 1 hot dog (frankfurter / hot dog with chilli on bun)
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 pear halves

1345hrs – Snack

  • 1 8oz cup of bottled drinking water (Poland)
  • 1 cup seedless dark purple grapes (Korean kind)

1725hrs – Dinner

  • 1 corn dog
  • 1 cup of Go-yin/Pure Genesis (but they didn’t have it on fit.com so I substituted)
  • 1 cup of Romaine lettuce (for salad)
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes (for salad)
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries

2115hrs – Snack

  • 1 small raw ripe avocado
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 2 -8 oz glasses of bottled drinking water (Poland)

Second day 7/4/2011

0935hrs – Breakfast

  • 3 pancakes made of complete, plain, and dry mix that included buttermilk fried (Aunt Jemima)
  • ¼ cup of flaxseed oil (added to pancakes & it was actually ground organic)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 6oz glass of 2% fat dairy milk
  • 12 fresh blueberries

1215hrs – Snack

  • 12 fresh blueberries
  • 1 serving of mixed vegetable juice (really Go-yin again but they didn’t have it on website)
  • 2 glasses of bottled water (POLAND SPRING)

1430hrs –Late Lunch (ate out)

  • 1 piece of garlic naan (Indian flatbread)
  • 1 cup of basmitti steamed rice (white/medium grain)
  • 1 cup of chicken curry
  • 1 12oz glass of orange-mango juice (really had Mango Lassi but wasn’t on site)

1820hrs

  • 2 glasses of bottled drinking water (POLAND SPRING)

2235hrs – Snack

  • 2 raw nectarines (really had fresh plums but saw only canned on website)

Second day 7/4/2011: Activities

For some reason a couple hours after breakfast I had a burst of energy so I decided to do a quick power walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes at an incline of 1.5. After that I rested for about 2 minutes and then jumped on the trampoline for 1 minute. I alternated 3 times and then rested again. Next, I then did 30 sit-ups in 1 minute and 20 modified push-ups in a minute also. I repeated this twice. Lastly, I did another set of 25 sit-ups in one minutes time.

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Third day 07/5/2011

0950hrs – Breakfast

  • 2 cups of Special K Cereal
  • 1 cup of 2% fat free milk
  • 1 8oz glass of bottled water (POLAND SPRING)
  • 1 cup of blueberries

1245hrs – Lunch

  • 1 Barbe Q Leg Quarter
  • 1 cup of baked beans
  • 1 bowl of tomatoe & cucumber salad
  • 1 glass of pineapple juice (with added vitamin C)

1440hrs – Snack

  • 1 cup of 2% low fat milk
  • 1 cup of Honey Nut Cheerios
  • 1 8oz of bottled water (POLAND SPRING)

1750hrs – Dinner

  • 2 serving of mixed vegetables
  • ½ can of sardines in extra virigin olive oil
  • 1 cup of fresh raw grapes
  • 1 glass of bottled water (POLAND SPRING)

The USDA My Pyramid food guidance system

According to Willett and Skerrett (2005), the USDA Pyramid turns out to be one of the most recognizable systems in American society. Taking into consideration the current conditions and the possibilities available for the American citizens, the author makes an attempt to nudge people toward “eating mostly familiar foods that have been shown to improve health and reduce the risk of chronic disease” (Willett & Skerrett, 2005, p. 13). The USDA’s Original Food Guide Pyramid is discussed as the system to ensure that people meet the body daily requirements and to sustain good health (Insel et al., 2010). It is shown that fats, oils, and sweets take the top position, the middle belongs to meat, fish, dry beans, vegetables, fruits, milk, and some representatives of the cheese group, and the foundation is devoted to carbohydrates which are bread, rice, and pasta. My food intake over the three days shows that a number of contradictions take place in regards to the MyPyramid guidelines. So, the analysis of these days’ diet is crucial as the information got should be considered with the one offered in the USDA MyPyramid.

The first day was without breakfast; it started from lunch that was corn dog and several dishes with fresh vegetables and fruits. Based on MyPyramid guidance, the chosen products were appropriate for a student diet. Still, the chosen food intake does not seem to meet the required grains intake of six cups (carbohydrates), thus, if not rectified, it can lead to craving for carbohydrates. In general, the diet of the first day seems to be a good choice for many students in regards to the USDA MyPyramid guidance system because the foods that occupy the wide base of the pyramid (fresh vegetables and fruits) are in large portions in comparison to other food portions. Still, sometimes, it is possible to notice that the necessary food is replaced by the products that should be found at the top of the pyramid (food required sparingly) such as sweets.

The second day’s diet seems to meet the requirements apart from the chicken curry that brings extra-unneeded oils (which take the top of the pyramid). Abundance of bread and drinks with fresh fruits and vegetables make the chosen diet rather attractive. Though nectarines used during the late lunch may be considered as sweets that take the top of the pyramid, the general percentage of the dishes seems to be normal for an ordinary student. The more fruits and vegetables used during the day, the better health condition will be. Still, it is also necessary to remember that some juices are considered to be the main indicators of extra calories, this is why it is better to reduce the usage of juices in a daily diet.

The third day of the chosen diet is characterized by properly organized food consumption. The point is that much water and juices as it was mentioned in the second day analysis leads to some extra calories in the body. However, in general, the diet meets the MyPyramid guidance from a number of aspects. Still, certain attention should be paid to the use of hot dogs as well as fat milk for breakfast. These products are in the middle of the pyramid, this is why their frequent use may lead to unpleasant results. So, students should follow the offered guideline to have fewer problems with their health.

The Healthy Eating Pyramid

According to this guidance, the whole grain and vegetables intake seem to be way below recommended intake on the first day. The processed meat (hot dog) and carbohydrates are much discouraged though on the first day they were taken. The fruits intake is in agreement with recommendations of this guidance (eat plenty of raw fruits). In addition, this guidance advises people to avoid sweetened products like the sweetened pear (Willet & Skerrett, 2005).

On the first day, the food intake does not seem to stack well according to this guidance since the whole grain diet and vegetable which are found at the base of the pyramid are not sufficiently provided as they supposed to taken in larger portion relative to other foods taken. The intake of milk, flaxseed oil, and honey is in agreement with this guidance. The intake of refined rice, naan, and chicken curry can bring in extra carbohydrates and unwanted oils when digested, thus their intake should be minimized according to these guidance.

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On the third day, the food intake is well balanced apart from taking too much fruit juices, which can bring in the extra carbohydrates (Willet & Skerrett, 2005). Generally, water intake seems to be in accordance with this guidance. The guidance also recommends taking of multivitamin supplements by most people, though in my case, this is avoided.

In comparison with the guidance recommendations for those days, the vegetables intake is generally much below the recommended intakes, thus adjusting to the appropriate level is very much warranted. Comparing with this guidance, the balance of carbohydrate intake is not well maintained, thus it is important to adhere to regular maintenance of carbohydrate intake as prescribed in the guidance. The guidance also recommends that people should exercise regularly, which I think is quite fulfilled since it does not specify the required time.

Disease risk

After reviewing the reports on the dietary food intake, it’s very clear that my carbohydrates and fats balance is quite distorted with higher than required levels. Important minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are not available to the required levels. In addition, the level vegetable intake is quite low and does not meet the required standards. Higher levels of carbohydrates intake if continued for longer period may lead to obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes. Lack or low intake of calcium and phosphorus when prolonged can predispose a person to likelihood of developing osteoporosis. Moreover, in the reports and the feeding program for the three days, the vegetables intake is minimal. Vegetables are important source of many minerals and vitamins, and assist in digestion process of the other foods. Therefore, absence of vegetables in the diet leads to deficiency of some key minerals, vitamin, and food indigestions. The chosen diet may lead to some problems with health such as heart disease or osteoporosis, still, it is possible to take a number of steps and prevent the development of these problems in human body.

Heart disease, which is also known as coronary heart disease, refers to numerous heart disorders caused by insufficient blood flow to parts of the heart (Brown, 2007). Heart disease may bother people due to narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart as the plaque concentrates on the walls of the arteries leading to the heart; and arteries’ narrowing leads to hardening of the arteries wall, which is referred to as atherosclerosis. The cholesterol levels are mostly increased by intake of foods such as high-fat milk, cheese, eggs, beef, high carbohydrates, and fatty substances. Though I do not have serious problems with health, I still have several relatives, who are under a threat of being hospitalized with heart problems. This is why it is better to avoid any possible cases of heart disease. This is why, regarding the diet chosen, it is possible to admit that some dishes which contain fats or meat such as hot dogs should be eliminated from my diet within a short period of time. In addition, it is also required to reduce the use of fruit juices as they may be defined as the substances which bring extra calories to human body.

Osteoporosis is another problem that is known to some members of my family. It is caused by calcium and phosphorous deficiency. The point is that the bones may become very fragile and they may break even with minor accidents. Evaluating my diet, it is evident that vegetables which contribute the necessary minerals to the body are enough, still, it is possible to increase the use of the products, which contain phosphorus such as milk or fish. Still, these products contradict the USDA MyPyramid guideline, this is why certain attention should be paid to the usage of such products.

So, it is possible to say that I am the person, who is at risk for heart disease and some other chronic diseases. Still, my diet is my chance to improve my health and achieve good results in health eating. Taking into consideration a variety of products available and a variety of diets, which may be prescribed to particular people, a threat of heart disease is not the reason to deprive yourself of a number of tasty product. The only thing that has to be considered is the required norms. To reduce risk of heart disease, it is important to stick to a healthy diet that has low level of the unneeded fats, cholesterol, and moderated carbohydrates intake, exercising regularly and avoiding smoking. Therefore in terms of diet minimizing and even avoiding high fat milk, cheese, beef, oily meals, eggs and over taking only the required portion carbohydrates. Secondly, to prevent osteoporosis, taking milk more regularly in addition to taking mineral supplements would be an appropriate adjustment. Lastly, taking large servings of vegetables as accompaniment to all meals is highly recommended.

Conclusion

In general, the diet under consideration is a perfect example of how students have to be adjusted to the living conditions. There are the situations, when it is hard to control everything around taking into account eating and taking care of personal health. The desire to eat properly makes many students to experiment and try different approaches. In this paper, the chosen diet turns out to be a good example of how strong and weak the same diet can be. On the one hand, the diet has three main weak points which are presence of juices and water in huge quantity, hot dogs as the main dish during the whole day, and chicken curry as a successful substitute for hot dogs from time to time. Such choice of products is not the most successful, this is why it is desirable to evaluate the possible ideas for student’s diet and take the necessary changes. For example, it is possible to improve the diet with the help of fish dishes which may prevent the threat of osteoporosis, reduce the use of juices and eat more fresh fruits like apples or cherries to satisfy thirst, and use more pasta products or rice as they are defined as the foundation in the USDA MyPyramid.

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List of Reference

Brown, J. E. (2007). Nutrition Now. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Insel, P., Ross, D., McMahon, K., Bernstein, M. (2010). Nutrition. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Willet, W.C. & Skerrett, P.J. (2005). The Health Eating Pyramid. New York: Simon & Schuster Source.

Appendix

First Day (03/07/2011)

Calories
Calories
Nutrition
Nutrition
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%RDA/AI Graph

Second Day (04/07/2011)

Calories
Calories
Nutrition
Nutrition
%RDA/AI Graph
%RDA/AI Graph

Third Day (05/07/2011)

Calories
Calories
Nutrition
Nutrition
%RDA/AI Graph
%RDA/AI Graph

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 17). A 3-Day Diet Analysis With the USDA Food Pyramid. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/a-3-day-diet-analysis-with-the-usda-food-pyramid/

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