Examining analyses of a food diary or meal plan—Procedure 3
There are different analyses that can be examined using FoodChoices®. The following steps explain how to identify:
- quantities of a specific nutrient in each food
- quantities of nutrients in a specific food, meal or day’s intake.
Follow these steps when completing Exercise 3.
- To start
- If you do not have FoodChoices® running, in the lower left corner of your screen, click Start, click All Programs, and click FoodChoices 2009.
- Open the food diary or meal plan to be examined. To do this, click on the folder in the Navigation Pane that contains the food diary or meal plan. The food diaries and meal plans appear in the lower part of the Navigation Pane. Click on the food diary or meal plan to be examined. For example, you could open ‘Abey’ in the ‘Samples’ folder, or one that you have created yourself.
- In the open document, click the Foods tab (just under the name of the open document). This will show the total list of foods in the food diary or meal plan.
- To examine the analyses for a specific nutrient
This examination enables you to see how individual foods contribute to the result for a specific nutrient—for example, iron. That is, how much iron is in each of the foods listed.
- In the Analysis Pane, click on the All Components option.
- Click on the nutrient under investigation, and examine the results in the open document. For example, if you click on Iron, and then look at the open document, you will see the iron content of each of the foods in the right-hand column of the Foods grid. Click on different nutrients to see their results. Note: If this column does not show, it might be because one of the other columns is too wide. Try reducing the width of the Notes column.
Analysis for iron in foods eaten
- To examine the analyses for each food, meal or day’s intake
- To select just one food
Select the row for the food that you wish to examine by clicking the selector button on the left-hand edge of that row. The Analysis Pane will show the analysis for the selected item, not for the whole food diary or meal plan.
- To select a group of foods—for example, all the foods eaten at breakfast
Click on the selector button on the left-hand side of the row of the first food. Holding the mouse button down, drag the mouse over the selector buttons of the grid, highlighting the relevant rows.
Note: When you are examining the results for the whole document, ensure that you do not have any one row selected.
Tip: The meals can be collapsed so that only the meals (breakfast, lunch etc) are listed, and not all the food in them. To do this, in the Day column click on the small box with a minus or plus sign next to the names of the meal. To expand back to showing all the foods for that meal, click again on the plus/minus sign.
Analysis for all foods eaten at breakfast
- To select just one food
- To examine the sources of energy for each food, meal or day’s intake
In the Analysis Pane, click on General and examine the sources of energy. Alternatively, click on View graphs on the Toolbar and examine the graph for sources of energy. To examine the sources of energy for one or more foods, click the selector button(s) next to the food(s) being examined.
Sources of energy and fat ratios for day’s intake
Sources of energy and fat ratios for one food
- To examine the percentages of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats
In the Analysis Pane, click on General and examine the percentages of different types of fats. Alternatively, click on View graphs on the Toolbar, and examine the graph for percentages of polyunsaturated, mono-unsaturated and saturated fats. To examine the percentage of fats for one or more foods, click the selector button(s) next to the food(s) being examined.
- To print the results
See Procedure 8.
Tips on interpreting the analyses
Be careful that you do not draw incorrect or inappropriate conclusions when interpreting dietary data. You should keep the following points in mind:
- There are inaccuracies and approximations in the food composition data used, and in the recording of food intake.
- An individual’s day-to-day intake is variable—the average intake is the important thing. Analysing food intake over several days approximates true average intake.
- The Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) shown in FoodChoices® is the average for groups, not the actual requirement for the individual. The individual’s requirement could be considerably higher or lower than the average requirement.
- RDIs are the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98%) healthy individuals in different age and gender groups. For individuals, usual intake at or above this level has a low probability of inadequacy. RDIs are suitable to be used for individuals, but should not be used to assess intake of groups.
- Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is the daily nutrient level estimated to meet the nutrient requirements of half the healthy individuals in different age and gender groups. It can be used to examine the probability that an individual’s intake is inadequate. It can be used to estimate the prevalence of inadequate intakes within a group.
- A question mark (?) appearing in the results indicates that relevant nutrient data are missing and FoodChoices® cannot complete the calculation. For example, if the fibre value of one of the foods is missing, then a question mark appears when the result for fibre is shown. This may be because the data are not available for some foods. The results in the Analysis Pane will then be shown in red. In order to investigate question marks, appearing in the Analysis Pane:
- Click the Foods/Ingredients tab, then in the Analysis Pane, click the nutrient showing a question mark. A column appears on the far right of the Foods/Ingredients grid showing values for this nutrient.
- If all foods have a question mark for this nutrient, this might indicate that there are no data for this nutrient.
- If one or several foods have a question mark, then the data for this nutrient in this food or foods are not available.
- As not all foods are included in the database, you may need to choose one that is a close resemblance. This reduces the accuracy of the record.
- Check serve sizes used in FoodChoices®—your serve size might be different. Pay particular attention to sliced bread, meat and fruit.