Food Group Intakes
The analysis of food intakes indicates that some food groups meet or exceed the recommended levels, whereas most food groups meet the recommended consumptions. The consumption of grains (2 ounces) is under the recommended level (6 ounces) because whole grains level is 1 ounce, which is below the threshold of greater than or equal to 3 ounces. The intake of vegetables (1.5 cups) is also below the recommended level (2.5 cups) as most forms of vegetables are below their respective thresholds. The consumption of fruits (2 cups) is within the recommended levels of 2 cups for whole fruit is 1.5 cups and fruit juice is 0.25 cups.
The consumption of dairy food (4 cups) is more than the recommended level (3 cups) due to high amounts of milk and yogurt (3 cups) and low level of cheese (0.75 cups). Moreover, the intake of proteins (10 ounces) is higher than the recommended level (5.5 ounces) owing to the double consumption of seafood (17 ounces) and 4 ounces of meat, poultry, and eggs. The consumption of oils (4 teaspoons) is below the recommended level of 6 teaspoons. The amount of calories (1503) is less than the target limit of 2000 calories for the consumption of sugars is 48 calories, and saturated fat is 103 calories.
The analysis of nutrient intakes shows that most nutrients meet the target levels, whereas some nutrients are below and over the recommended levels. As indicated in the previous food group analysis, the level of calorie (1503) is under the recommended level of 2000 calories. Although the amount of protein (112 g) is higher than the target level (46 g), the percent calories (30%) is within the recommended level of 10-30%. Similarly, although the amount of carbohydrate intake (171 g) is greater than the target level (130 g), the percent calories (46%) is within the recommended range of 45-65%. Nevertheless, the consumption of dietary sugars (17 g) is below the target level of 25 g.
Although the consumption of total fats provides sufficient calories (27%), the amount (7 g) and calories (4%) of linolenic acid, and the amount of α-linolenic acid are less than the recommended levels. Even though omega 3 fats are sufficient, cholesterol level (335 mg) is greater than the recommended level (<300 mg). The analysis of minerals shows that calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc are within the recommended targets. However, potassium and iron are below the recommended targets, while sodium is higher than the recommended level. The analysis of vitamins indicates that vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, K, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and choline are sufficient; however, vitamin E is below the recommended level.
The analysis of food and nutrition identifies deficiencies and excesses of dietary intakes. As the level of whole grains eaten is low, its consumption ought to increase to over 3 ounces. To increase dietary fiber, the amount of vegetables consumed requires an increase by 2 cups. The reduction of the consumption of dairy products, particularly milk and yogurt, is necessary by limiting them to 2 cups. As there is an excessive consumption of proteins, intake of seafood should reduce by over half.
To meet calories requirement, the amount of added sugars should increase three times from 12 g to 36 g. In the aspect of minerals, the amount of potassium should increase from 3798 mg to 4700 mg and that of iron should double from 9 mg to 18 mg. The amount of sodium should decrease from 2990 mg to less than 2300 mg. Cholesterol intake should decline from 335 mg to less than 300 mg. Given that vitamin E is less than the recommended level, its level should increase from 7 mg to 15 mg.
Risk for Diseases
Deficiencies and excesses of food and nutrition intakes indicate risk for diseases. Low consumption of whole grains increases the risk for chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. According to a prospective study (1995-2009) carried among 367,442 healthy individuals, the consumption of whole grains reduces the predisposition to diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and respiratory diseases (Huang et al. 1).
Low intake of vegetables reduces the consumption of fiber and increases the risk for constipation, undernutrition, hypertension, and cholesterolemia. High levels of cholesterol in diet would promote hypertension and cause cholesterolemia. Pem and Jeewon report that the intake of vegetables is beneficial to the body because they contain fiber, which reduces constipation, promotes the absorption of nutrients and prevents hypertension due to the elimination of cholesterol (1310). Moreover, low intake of vegetables increases the risk for obesity for phytochemicals in vegetables play a significant role in the metabolism of fats in the adipose tissue.
As the consumption of proteins is high, it increases the risk for kidney stones, gout, and osteoporosis. The consumption of animal proteins has negative effects on health for it reduces absorption of calcium, increases the formation of kidney stones, and enhances the formation of uric acid (Han et al. 138).
Low consumption of oils, particularly linolenic acids and α-linolenic acids, enhances the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Low levels of potassium cause muscle paralysis and coordination of the skeletal system, whereas low levels of iron heighten the risk for anemia, characterized by reduced low hemoglobin level and poor supply oxygen content in the body. High sodium levels increase the risk for kidney dysfunction, dehydration, and hypertension. Since vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, its deficiency increases the risk for tissue damage, resulting in muscle weakness and loss of body coordination.
Han, Haewook, et al. “Nutritional Management of Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis).” Clinical Nutrition Research, vol. 4, no. 3, 2015, p. 137-152.
Huang, Tao, et al. “Consumption of Whole Grains and Cereal Fiber and Total and Cause-Specific Mortality: Prospective Analysis of 367,442 Individuals.” BMC Medicine, vol. 13, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-9.
Pem, Dhandevi, and Rajesh Jeewon. “Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Benefits and Progress of Nutrition Education Interventions: Narrative Review Article.” Iranian Journal of Public Health, vol. 44, no. 10, 2015, pp. 1309-1321.