Proper nutrition is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As I have learned in this course, the key to establishing good health in the future stems from nutritional choices made today. For the purpose of this assignment, I will delve into the components of my two-day food diary, asses the nutritional adequacy of my diet based on multiple dietary guidelines, and highlight areas that require improvement. As a young adult with no ongoing medical conditions, I will structure my analysis by creating a comparison between my current diet and what is recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG).
Before beginning my analysis, it is important to preface that I have a family history of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis. In addition, I am an active individual who part takes in 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity 3-5 times per week. By only looking at the foods I consumed in a two-day period, it is evident that in order to prevent chronic diseases, including those that I have no genetic history of, I will need to make changes in my diet and increase its overall nutritional value. By first examining the grains food group, I see an alarming gap between the number of serves I consumed and the recommended amount. The ADG (2015) recommends that a female between the ages of 19-50 consumes 6 serves of grains per day; I averaged 1.75 per day between the two days.
The only sources of grain found in my diet came from 75g of vermicelli doodles, 1 white bread roll, and ¼ cup of Rossellini pasta in a soup. Not only was my consumption of grain far below where it needs to be, it stemmed from processed and refined grains which provide the least nutritional value in addition to being difficult to digest and creating a spike in blood glucose levels. Further, a balanced plate for women my age recommends 5 serves of vegetables and legumes/beans and 2 serves of fruit each day (ADG, 2015). Since these two food groups act as important sources of vitamins and minerals such as antioxidant vitamins, folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium they are vital in maintaining a healthy diet and preventing chronic diseases.
Looking at my food diary, I slightly went over the recommended number of fruits by totaling 4.16 serves in two days, though, I do not find this alarming. My sources of fruit included: apples, lime, pear, and pineapple. By choosing to eat whole or slices of fruit instead of fruit juice to reach my number of serves, I was able to provide my body with the highest amount of fiber which is beneficial to my health by keeping me regular. On the other hand, having only consumed 2 cucumbers, 2.5 large carrots, and 2 cups of the rocket, I fell 2.9 serves below the recommended intake of vegetables and legumes/beans. Because regular consumption of vegetables is essential to reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, I must almost double my intake of vegetables and legumes/beans as a safety precaution to lower my risk of developing this disease in the future. As a balanced diet recognizes that grains, vegetables, and fruits are needed in greater proportion than foods from other food groups, there is a critical need for improvement of both the quantity and quality of these foods in my diet.