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Final Project: Dietary Analysis Report

For this assignment, you will record your eating habits over a three day period, and then compare it to the Dietary Reference Intakes and Canada’s Food Guide.


The purpose of this assignment is to apply what you have learned throughout the course through an evaluation of your dietary intake. This will involve meticulously recording your intake of all foods and beverages over a three day period, and then comparing it to the Dietary Reference Intakes and Canada’s Food Guide. You will input your food record into the textbook’s software, Diet & Wellness Plus. The software allows you to input the foods that you have consumed directly into its website on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Choose whichever method is most convenient for you. If you are having difficulty accessing the Diet & Wellness Plus software, you may opt to use the free online resource eaTracker, from Dietitians of Canada. This software will allow you to input food, and will provide you with reports of the nutrients consumed. However, you will likely find that the tool lacks the variety of food and ease of use that is found in Diet & Wellness Plus. So it is recommended that you use eaTracker only if you are absolutely unable to access Diet & Wellness Plus.

After you input your food intake into the software (Part A), you will analyze your eating habits based on what you have learned in the course (Part B). Use your textbook and the unit notes to write a complete report. You should find that completing this assignment will reinforce what you learned throughout the course, and will provide a better understanding of the different topics that you have come across.

PART A: Dietary Records

See the following document for instructions on how to use Diet & Wellness Plus. Tutorial videos are also available online.

Select 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day to record your food and beverage intake. It helps to record all intakes as they occur. Recording intakes at the end of the day tends to result in unintentional under-reporting. Be sure to include EVERYTHING that you eat and drink, including water.

Be sure to separate your intake by meal and snack. The software will help you do this. It is something you may want to comment on in your evaluation. For example, you may realize that most of your caloric intake is in the evening, or that you snack more than you realized. You might realize that most of your eating is away from home, which impacts the choices that you make. Here is an example of what one day of your food diary may look like:





2 slices whole wheat toast

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 cup of coffee with 1 tsp cream and 1 tsp sugar


Morning Snack:

1 apple

1 Fibre One granola bar

2 cups of water



Chicken wrap:

1×12 in whole wheat tortilla

100 g cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast

¼ cup shredded lettuce

½ sliced red pepper

1 tbsp Ranch dressing

2 Oreo cookies

1 cup of skim milk


Afternoon Snack:

75 g bag of salt and vinegar potato chips

355 mL can of Coke

1 cup of water



100 g cooked roast beef

1 cup of mashed potatoes

¼ cup beef gravy

½ cup of cooked peas

½ cup of cooked carrots

1 cup of orange juice


Evening snack:

3 cups of popcorn with 2 tbsp butter and ½ tsp salt

1 cup of skim milk


The accuracy of your diet analysis (Part B) will only be as accurate as your dietary records (Part A). Keep the following in mind when recording intakes:

Include everything you consume, no matter how small. Include every jelly bean, every teaspoon of ketchup, every teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, every potato chip, and every glass or sip of water. Everything!

Measure or weigh servings of all foods, beverages, and condiments whenever possible. Include the AMOUNT that you consumed. For example: 1 slice of bread or 35 g of bread, 1 tbsp or 15 mL of ketchup, 250 mL of orange juice, etc. The food labels on food will be helpful for interpreting portion size. If you eat out, estimating portion size may be difficult, but be as accurate as you can be.

Indicate whether the food is cooked or raw. For example: “1 cup of spinach” would not be a good diet record entry. Instead, “1 cup of cooked spinach” or “1 cup of raw spinach” would be good entries because they provide an important level of detail. Spinach, for example, shrinks considerably when cooked. An entire bag of raw spinach may cook down to ½ cup of cooked spinach, for example. As a result, the nutrient content of “1 cup of raw spinach” and “1 cup of cooked spinach” is VERY different.

Describe all foods in detail. For example, for 1 cup of milk, indicate if it is skim milk, 1%, 2%, etc. For example, with chicken, indicate the cut of chicken, whether it is boneless or not, whether it is skinless or not, etc.

Break down meals into component parts. For example, if you had a tuna sandwich for lunch then your diet record should include a level of detail like the following: 75 grams of light flake canned tuna in water drained, 15 mL of Hellman’s low fat mayonnaise, 2 slices of whole grain whole wheat bread, ½ tsp of table salt, ¼ cup diced onion. If you had a salad for lunch, the record should include a level of detail like the following: 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce, 1 shredded carrot, ½ cup garbanzo beans, 1 small plum tomato diced, ½ cup sliced, peeled cucumber, 1 tbsp of full fat Kraft brand Catalina salad dressing.

For mixed dishes like casseroles that you did not prepare, you may need to spend some time exploring items in the diet analysis software to find a product that is most similar.

Include brand names where possible, since you will find many popular brands in the diet analysis software.

Include any fat used in cooking, such as oil used in frying, for example.

Don’t forget to include any alcohol you consume. Record any beer, wine, spirits, etc. that was consumed.

If you take any vitamin/mineral supplements, make note of this in your written evaluation (Part B).


Go to: https://login.nelsonbrain.com/course/MTPNJP5P2X0F. Register as a new user to gain access to Mindtap, which includes the Diet & Wellness Plus software. You will be asked to input some preliminary information so that the software can be individualized to you. Use login: -pls ask support team for log in info Now you can begin inputting your food by choosing “Track Diet.” If you don’t find the exact food item or brand you ate, choose the closest alternative. You also have the option of creating custom foods or recipes if you don’t find an acceptable alternative in the database. You can also use this software to input your physical activity.

After you have completed inputting all three days, you will find that there are many report options in the program. Feel free to browse the different reports available. You are required to submit the report entitled “Intake vs. Goals,” which is listed in the “Reports” section of the home page. Choose the applicable dates for your inputted foods and click “Print PDF.” Once the report opens as a PDF, you can save the document and attach it to your Part B submission.

Note that if you cannot access Diet & Wellness Plus, use a similar online tool, such as eaTracker from Dietitians of Canada.

PART B: Written Evaluation and Discussion

You will see that the reports generated by the Diet & Wellness Plus software are quite in-depth and will give you a lot to discuss in your own report. As an absolute minimum, discuss how your intakes compare to the DRIs (the AIs/RDAs /ULs for vitamins and minerals, the AMDRs for carbohydrates, protein and fat, and the RDA for protein and carbohydrates). Also, compare your dietary records to Canada’s Food Guide, and discuss your findings. Because the diet analysis software is American based, you will have to turn to Canada’s Food Guide and make these comparisons yourself.

Refer to your textbook and unit lesson notes when writing. The following are some potential discussion points/questions for you to consider incorporating into your written evaluation:

Were any of your vitamin and mineral intakes typically below 80% of the AI or RDA? Were any of your nutrient intakes typically above 120% of the AI or RDA? How did your intakes compare to the ULs (diet and any supplements combined)? Discuss.

How did your intakes compare to fiber and water recommendations? Discuss.

Discuss your overall fat intake and what types of fat predominate in your diet.

How do your protein intakes compare to the recommendations?

Comment on your energy (Caloric) intakes and how they compare to your estimated energy requirements (EERs).

With all of the above points, if there is any room for improvement, discuss and describe in detail what kinds of changes you would like to make and how you plan to implement them. If you are not meeting recommendations, what could you do to change that? For example, if you are lacking a certain nutrient, describe some foods/meals/beverages that are good sources of that nutrient that you like and are interested in incorporating into your diet to help meet your nutrient needs.

This section (Part B) should be five typed pages (single or 1.5 spacing). Pay close attention to grammar, since your ability to write clearly and coherently will form a component of your mark on this assignment.


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