My personal nutrition profile indicates that I have met the recommendations for carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Carbs amount up to 48% average eaten calories. Considering the 45-65% target, my average carbohydrate intake is closer to the minimum recommended limit, however, considering the fact that I have not met the recommended target of 2000 calories per day (1662 calories/day on average), I see that I could have added some toasts to my breakfast on May 24, or eat some snack rich with carbohydrates on May 26 (some dried fruits or a bowl of fresh fruit) in order to increase my daily calories intake and stay within the recommended carbohydrate threshold. Overall, my breakfast included cereal most of the days, which was a nice start of the day and gave me plenty of energy.
As for protein, with the recommended average of 10-35%, my daily average was 31%. This is quite a good result, as my lunch and dinner mainly included grilled chicken or Caesar salad, salmon fillet, shrimp and/or broccoli. These foods supplied me with protein, and I have managed to make it into the recommended limit.
The recommended fats intake was also reached (20-35% calories as per target, 22% calories on average as per my personal nutrients report). My average intake of saturated fat which, unlike poly- and monounsaturated fats had a set target, was not crossed, and amounted to 5% on average with a target of <10%. Actually, I was not surprised to see that I had met all the set targets for average daily intake of macro-nutrients, as I tried my best to balance out my meals and make sure they are rich in various macro-nutrients. I was satisfied with my daily meal plan, as it included the foods which I have likings for and supplied me with nutrients and vitamins at the same time. According to my nutrition plan, I clearly was under in dietary fiber intake (recommended: 25 g, my daily average: 21 g). According to choosemyplate.gov, broccoli, spinach, kale, watercress, and dark green leafy lettuce are dark green vegetables, the concentration of dietary fiber in which is particularly high. As per my food groups and calories report, my average intake on dark green vegetables was over the limit (target: 1 ½ cups; my average intake: 4 cups). However, I really was under the recommended intake of red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, and starchy, as well as other vegetables. From the 2 ½ cups recommended, I ate 2 ¼, which is okay, but considering that I had little to no variety in vegetables I consumed, I could work on that. I ate nuts and fruit for snacks quite often, which was another source of fiber. Perhaps, I should have replaced some of my instant oatmeal breakfasts with cup raisin bran cereal to get more fiber. As for grains, fruit, dairy, protein, and oils, I met all the requirements. As far as the vitamins and minerals go, I have met the set target for all of them except the following entries: Calcium – target: 2000 mg – my average: 963 mg; Potassium – target: 4700 mg – my average: 3850 mg; Vitamin E – target: 15 mg AT – my average: 8 mg AT. Calcium: I included dairy products in my meal plan, and, following recommendations of choosemyplate.gov, chose soy or skim milk. However, as my calcium target was not met, I believe I could have chosen calcium-fortified soymilk to supplement my calcium intake. I also often had salmon for dinner, and as far as choosemyplate.gov recommendations go, I should have probably chosen salmon with bones in order to compensate for my calcium set target. Potassium: I included such potassium-rich foods as citrus fruits and carrots into my diet. However, I did not include any potatoes into my meal plan in a fear of overshooting my carbohydrate intake. Root vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, are rich in potassium (Nlm.nih.gov, 2015), and I should have varied my side dishes for salmon and grilled chicken with potatoes and spinach, for example. Vitamin E: According to National Institutes of Health's article (2013), vitamin E is mostly found in different kinds of oil (sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean), nuts, sunflower seeds, spinach, tomato, mango and kiwifruit. As I mainly had salmon without any fat, I see that it would have been advisable to add some oil to it in order to increase my vitamin E supplement. Also, I could have enriched my fruit salads with kiwi and mango, and use tomato and spinach as side dishes for salmon and chicken. Naturally, cutting on any macro-nutrient or giving it up almost completely for any kind of diet is dangerous, especially in a long run, since it deprives our organism of crucial nutrients, minerals and vitamins. As for high-protein diet, for example, Katherine Zeratsky from Mayo Clinic agrees that it helps people lose weight, however, its potential side effects and risks during long-term use include headache, constipation, heart disease and worsened kidney function (Zeratsky, 2015). High-carbohydrate diet may lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease mainly because excessive consuming of carbohydrates with high glycemic load can make people insensitive to insulin, which controls a level of blood sugar. Therefore, a well-balanced diet is always a great choice for those who want to watch their health, body and be supplied with all important nutrients all along. Conclusion: Keeping a meal plan and counting all the calories intake seemed dull and monotonous at first, but soon I realized that controlling my daily consumption of food and nutrients does help me feel better about my health and overall condition. Looking through the reports and completing an analysis of my nutrition diary helped me see that I had successfully performed with this task, and although a week is not much time to notice any drastic changes, I definitely feel better that I could eat my favorite foods and visually see that it supplied me with all required nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.