WELLNESS-FOCUS NUTRITION Diet Analysis Paper Being an insulin dependent diabetic with Celiacs Disease has played the main role in dictating my eating patterns for the last six years. I walk a fine line of balancing blood glucose levels with diet and exercise. Many of the foods I eat are simply because I have to follow a gluten free diet to manage my Celiacs Disease. With all of the emerging publicity of gluten free diets people assume that eating gluten free is a healthy, weight friendly, approach to eating.
I find that a naturally occurring gluten free diet lives up to many of those expectations, however when certain foods are replaced with a formulated gluten free version it then becomes a different story. When gluten free adaptations of grains in breads, pastas, cereals, etc. are added into my diet I find myself eating a much higher amount of carbohydrates and calories from starch. Many of the gluten free versions of whole grains are very dense in carbohydrates.
The reason behind the heightened calories and carbohydrates is because it usually takes multiple types of gluten free flours mixed together to substitute for one non gluten free all purpose flour. I anticipate my carbohydrate intake will be on the elevated side in the initial three day data, but I am consciously mindful to try to avoid too many gluten free replacements and instead opt for foods that are naturally gluten free. Other influences on my food choices would include my on the go lifestyle and my Diabetes. I have been a type one insulin dependent diabetic for twenty seven years.
Over the last three decades the guidelines for a diabetics diet and target blood glucose range have changed drastically. Target blood glucose levels for “good” blood sugar control was 180 when I was first diagnosed. At the age of 12 I remember 150 being the upper limit. Now, at the age of 29, 120 is considered the highest “good” limit. These numbers hold relevance to me because they are how I determine my insulin intake and diet adjustments. I have to count my carbohydrates in order to determine how much humalog to distribute. For every ten carbohydrates I consume I require one unit of insulin.
These numbers all influence my food and beverage intake. My schedule is also a deciding factor of my diet. I begin my day at five a. m. every day and am headed to the gym by five thirty every morning. From there I head to school, where I am a full time student, until approximately 4 p. m. . I then drive to my job teaching competitive dance teams in Oxford until 9 p. m. . I get home, in Rochester, around 9:30 p. m. and begin my homework. My weekends are filled with competitions many times, which leaves me with very little time to grocery shop and prepare my meals in advance.
I try the best I can to prepare my foods at home, but occasionally do resort to microwavable gluten free foods or salads from drive through windows. My expectations for my initial seven day data are that my levels will show higher carbohydrates, but an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. I do not anticipate my fat intake to be too high because I generally gravitate towards healthy fats. Fiber is definitely well incorporated in my diet through the variety of fruits, vegetables and skin on potatoes I eat. My vitamin D levels via food consumption may be low, but I am not concerned with it because I have been on a Dr. rescribed supplement for six years due to my Celiacs Disease. Based on the data collected in the first seven days of data recording , two of my initial hypothesis are correct. I have an elevated level of grains intake , which is shown on the my plate chart, and an extremely low level of vitamin D. During my second phase of dieting I will definitely be cautious of my starch intake in an attempt to lower it below the 112% of the recommended daily intake. A few things I am surprised to discover are that my vegetable intake and dairy intake are much lower than my recommended daily intake .
I am also disappointed to find out that my dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin E levels are much lower than expected. Vitamins E and C work to stabilize free radicals and repair injury to the cell membrane and tissues. Thankfully I am consuming three times the amount of vitamin C recommended, however my vitamin E level is at a mere 17% of what it should be. Free radical damage could become quite significant if I continue to be so deficient in vitamin E. Good sources of vitamin E to incorporate into my diet are nuts, more spinach, peanut butter and avocado.
Potassium is an essential electrolyte that affects the body’s fluid balances, nerve transmissions and muscle contractions. During dance I have noticed that lately, while pointing my toes, I have been experiencing foot cramping more times than not. The low levels of potassium I am consuming may be playing a role in that. Adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet is going to increase my vegetable intake as well as increase my potassium and fiber levels. Fiber is important in aiding the digestive tract and supporting regular bowel movements. Soluble fiber is known to lower both blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
Additionally to fruits and vegetables, adding more legumes to my diet is a great way to get more fiber. Upon completion of the second phase of data entry I had definitely made some effective changes. I increased my vegetable intake from 68% to 209% by adding vegetables in as snacks and incorporating them into as many meals as possible. The most notable effects of eating more vegetables are that my fiber level increased from a 50% to a 96% and my vitamin E from a 24% to a 35%. My folate levels went from a 48% to a 77% and my vitamin A levels went from a 82% to a 230%, both can be attributed to the consumption of more fruits and vegetables.
I increased all of my B vitamins except for Thiamin, which respectively stayed the same. By adding more dairy through milk, cheese and yogurt I increased my calcium from a 70% to a 116%. My bones will surely thank me for that. Sodium increased from a 87% to a 128%. Ironically I increased my carbohydrate intake from a 55% to a 72%, yet reduced my grain intake from a 68% to a 52%. Adding a larger variety of fruits, dairy and vegetables to my diet was the key to lowering my grain intake while raising my carbohydrate intake.
The grain intake on the my plate report is quite a fluctuation between the first and second phases, but I believe with continued monitoring and experimenting with interchanging foods that that can be balanced out. Another notable change is that I cut my fats by nearly half by eating more vegetables and low fat dairy items. I did increase my fruit intake slightly from a 74% to a 83%, but I think that overall I do consume an adequate amount of fruit regularly. My recommended daily caloric intake is 1,858. 11, however I fell short in both phases. I am comfortable at a 1200 calorie diet.
I was full every day and could not eat any more without becoming uncomfortably full. Overall this diet analysis was very informative to what changes I can make in my life for a more balanced diet that is high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It was eye opening what positive changes adding more variety to my diet can actually make. My stress levels do fluctuate daily, however one stress factor that remains constant and I would rate at a 4 is my frustration with my lack of losing weight while giving a solid 100% effort over the last three months. I did not have any higher than usual stressful days.
Mondays are always a higher stress day, simply because I have a more hectic schedule. I teach the largest number of children ages 7-18 dance on Mondays and having that many children for three hours does wear on my patience. I teach a total of 52 children that are split into three separate classes on Mondays. My schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays has me up at 5a. m. , out the door at 5:45am and not returning home until 9 at night. I go directly from the gym to school to work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays. That being said, I would rate my stress levels on Monday a 6, Tuesday a 5 and Wednesday a 4.
Planning and packing meals, change of clothes, choreography, homework and medical supplies ahead of time makes a tremendous difference in how smoothly those three days run. My diabetes is a contributor to my daily stress factor. I maintain some sort of stress on a daily basis that is based around my blood sugar levels, balancing them and the effect a high or low has on my body both physically and mentally. Every single day, regardless of other influences or happenings, my stress is maintained at a level 2 strictly because of my health management.
With my activity level being so high and my schedule being so demanding, I know that averaging four hours of sleep a night is not healthy or ideal. I will try to aim for seven hours of sleep a night in order to give my body the chance to rest and recuperate that it needs. My ability to focus and process information at an optimal level should also improve with more sound sleep. Stress levels may not diminish, but they will more than likely lower for me with improved sleeping patterns. I feel confident in being able to recognize unhealthy patterns and rectify them the best I can while moving towards a healthier future.
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