Nutrition Assessment

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Keeping track of what someone eats is a right nutritional step and helps one to make perfect nutritional steps and proper food decisions. Tracking your diet is a commitment that needs to be attended to on a daily basis within the span of a given duration. I carried out a nutritional track on my diet for five days using My Fitness Pall. I recorded every meal I took in all the five days and received a printout from the program of my nutritional progress for the five days.

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With my daily intake of foods with a high caloric content I always considered my level of calories higher than normal. On tracking my diet for the five days, I realized that I did not even achieve my daily goal for the caloric intake. Like for a normal person the average daily caloric intake should be 2000 calories, according to the program my average was 1700 calories. My caloric expenditure was averagely 300 calories per which meant on an average day I had an intake of 1400 calories which is way below my daily target. Had I not tracked my diet for the five days I would still have in mind that my caloric intake was higher than my required daily consumption. This was mainly due to the average to high intensive training I took on daily basis.

In the body, macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy to the body and they are required in large amounts in the diet. Their main purposes according to the program were to provide energy and are counted as calories. The program specified that the amount provided by each varies. Fats provide nine calories per gram while proteins and carbohydrates provide four

Calories per gram each. According to the program my average daily consumption of fat for the five days was recorded as being higher than my daily goal for its consumption. First of all I am a very active person therefore keeping in mind that my daily exercises required reserve energy where the fats came in handy. This is because they act as sources of fuel for the skeletal muscles during my exercises. With my daily routine of exercise my body tends to oxidize more fat than carbohydrates which help me conserve crucial liver and muscle glycogen that improves my endurance in training. My diet also contained the good fats as I consumed monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are evident in the printout which is heart healthy fats that help to stabilize cholesterol levels and help lower risk of cardiovascular disease. More important my diet was healthy because my fat intake and carbohydrates intake were balanced. A low-fat high-carbohydrates diet may increase blood triglycerides and reduce high density lipoproteins.

Micronutrients are considered mainly vitamins and nutrients that are required in small amounts in the diet which are important in the development, health and growth of the body. They are mainly found to occur naturally in plant and animal foods. Deficiency in micronutrients is a major cause for mental retardation, birth defects and many more diseases. In the five days I tracked my diet I consumed several micronutrients;

Vitamin A - From the eggs and vegetables

Vitamin D - From liver and beef

Sodium - From cooked foods with table salt

Calcium - From dairy land yoghurt and cottage cheese

Therefore although needed in small amounts the micronutrients are necessary for the body to function properly. Since our bodies cannot make all the nutrients they must supplied to the body through the diet.

In the five days I tracked my diet, I came across three micronutrients that not only are very important but tend to be ignored by most people in their diet yet they are very important to ones health;

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is stored in the liver when in excess in the body and is fat soluble. in the diet there are two types of vitamin A namely: preformed vitamin A that is found in animal products and pro-vitamin a that is found in foods from plant origin.

It is essential in maintaining healthy skin, mucous membranes and teeth.

It also required in reproduction and breast feeding and promotes good vision. It is sometimes referred to as retinol because it produces pigments in the retina.

The main sources of vitamin A in the diet are:

- cod liver oil;

- eggs;

- fortified cereals;

- yellow vegetables;

- cream.

According to research, the more intense the color of most fruits or vegetables there is a higher indication of beta-carotene levels.

Inadequate supply of vitamin A in the diet results in hyperkeratosis that is dry or scaly skin. Also one who has inadequate intake is at a risk for increased eye problems that includes irreversible night blindness and xeropthalmia (Sharma, 2006).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D just like vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is sometimes produced endogenously when rays from the sun strike the skin and trigger its synthesis. It is also present in some foods and also available as a dietary supplement.

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut there without sufficient vitamin D in the body the bones can become thin and brittle. Its adequacy also prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Hence its combination with calcium in adults prevents osteoporosis.

Vitamin D is also part of neuromuscular and immune function and takes part in the modulation of cell growth.

Vitamin D sources are diverse with very few sources in food products:

- cod liver oil;

- orange juice;

- milk;

- liver and beef cooked;

- sun exposure.

Vitamin D deficiency is always as a result of impaired absorption or low intake of it in the diet. In adults it mainly results in osteomalacia. This tends to be evident by weak bones, bone pains and weaknesses in muscles. In children deficiency mainly risks rickets where the bones fail to mineralize resulting in soft bones and defects in skeletal outline (McCormick, 1997).


Sodium is essential for life. Sodium plays a huge role in many life sustaining processes; it maintains membrane potential by causing charge differences across membranes, it facilitates nutrient absorption and transport for example water, glucose and amino acids, it helps in the maintenance of blood pressure and blood volume as it is the main determinant of extracellular fluid volume that includes blood volume.

Sodium deficiency does not necessarily result from low dietary intake but may result from increased fluid retention or increased sodium loss. For a normal adult like mean average of 3.8grams daily intake is healthy and according to the program my intake was sufficient. Deficiencies of sodium may lead to cerebral edema, seizures, coma and at times brain damage.

Sufficient amounts of sodium are healthy especially during exercise as I realized I increased my endurance in exercise.

The one week track of my diet was of benefit to my eating habits and to my health in general. My printout shows that I had high intakes of saturated fats in my diet. According to the program most of this saturated fat came from eggs that were eaten whole cooked or poached. Health wise saturated fats are considered bad fats as they raise low density lipoproteins which later harden arteries and raise blood pressure. Therefore I found this helpful as I was going to reduce my intake of eggs and other foods like avocado to cut down on saturated fats. Also according to the program I have an almost low intake of fibers (roughages). This was evident as I had as low as 4 grams a meal which is not healthy. Fibers help add bulk to food making bowel movements swift. I realize on days when my roughage intake was low like on 16th I had constipation problems. It came clear to me now that I have to incorporate more roughages into my diet for a more healthy living as sometimes they turn insignificant but they are far much important in digestion.


McCormick, D. B. (1997). Vitamins and Coenzymes. new york: academic press.

Sharma, C. P. (2006). Micronutrients. New York: Einfield NH.doi:10.1017/S0014479706384530

Taylor, R. J. (1972). Micronutrients. London: unilever research.

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