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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

30 day Food Diary Challenge - Day one

I have been spending quite a lot of time looking at nutrition recently and I thought it would be interesting to record and analyse what I eat each day to see how well I am actually doing rather than just guessing that I'm probably okay. I'll post what I've eaten (and/or am planning to eat) each day along with a nutritional analysis produced by some software I have a free trial of. If I am posting on a subsequent day, I will post-date my post to the day it refers to. I know that the nutritional analysis won't be exact as sometimes it doesn't have an exact match for an ingredient (e.g. when I use homemade chicken stock, it uses figures from canned chicken stock which I imagine doesn't have quite the same nutritional value).

So far today I have had:

  • Apple and sultana porridge (oatmeal to Americans).
  • Glass of orange juice.
  • Cup of tea.
  • Pate on homemade wholemeal sourdough bread.
  • Glass of orange juice.
  • Homemade low sugar marmalade on homemade wholemeal sourdough fruit loaf. (My that's a tongue twister isn't it!)
  • 30g dark chocolate. (I read about a study where 100% pregnant women who ate 30g chocolate did not become anaemic and need iron supplementation whereas 70% of those who didn't have the chocolate needed supplementation. To my knowledge I'm not pregnant but I am anaemic so I figure it's a good idea but I have dark chocolate because it is more tolerable than milk chocolate and contains less sugar.)
I am planning to have:
  • Bean and Spinach Curry (served with mashed potato because we had a mountain of sprouting potatoes so I made a mountain of mash yesterday).
  • Homemade peach yoghurt.
  • Glass of orange juice.

  • 2-3 cups of tea
  • Some kind of snack as yet undetermined (probably cashews, banana loaf or more fruit loaf) but given the current low calorie count I imagine I'll need something - I'll update tomorrow.
Edit: I had everything I had planned except that I wasn't actually hungry enough to have a snack and I also had 1/3 strawberry at dinner. (It was the first strawberry from the garden and there are three of us.) I've updated the nutritional analysis below and also removed the caffeine from the analysis because I drink decaffeinated tea so it is incorrect. I also added in a retinol figure (vitamin A1) so that I can check it isn't too high.

Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts (daily value):
Calories 1673kcal
Protein 59g (118%)
Total Fat 48g (74%)
Sat. 27g (135%)
Chol. 195mg (65%)
Carb. 267g (89%)
Fiber 36g (144%)
Sugars 90g
Calcium 791mg (79%)
Iron 16mg (89%)
Magnesium 449mg (112%)
Phosphorus 1484mg (148%)
Potassium 4352mg (124%)
Sodium 821mg (34%)
Zinc 13mg (87%)
Copper 5mg (250%)
Manganese 7mg
Selenium 81µg
Vit. C 176mg (293%)
Vit. B1 1mg (67%)
Vit. B2 2mg (118%)
Vit. B3 14mg (70%)
Vit. B5 6mg (60%)
Vit. B6 1mg (50%)
Diet. fol. eq. 564µg (141%)
Vit. B12 20µg (333%)
Vit. A 20342IU (407%)
Vit. A1 3834µg
Vit. E 3mg (15%)
Vit. K 221µg
Vit. D 155IU (39%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Things which jump out initially (aside from the low calorie count) are the low vitamin E and D count and the high vitamin A count.

I've estimated how many servings I'll get out of the curry so updating that after it is served may affect the calorie count (and of course other figures). I should add that I am aiming to maintain my weight as I am not currently underweight which is why I am concerned about low calorie count.

I'm not too concerned about the vitamin A as I think it's mainly the stuff from the pate which is retinol with the remainder being beta-carotene. The body only converts beta-carotene into retinol if it is required and it is retinol rather than beta-carotene which can cause problems in large quantities. I also don't eat pate every day so this may be an anomaly.

The vitamin D isn't a concern either as I know that the body can produce this in the presence of sunlight and since I have a slight tan I figure I must spend enough time outdoors for that.

Vitamin E I don't know so much about so I'll have to check what information I have in my nutrition file (which is mainly filled with things I've printed from the FSA, Danish food databank and the USDA) and keep an eye on how it varies. I believe it is a fat soluble vitamin which means that unlike vitamin C and the B vitamins it is stored in the body so it is not so important to have the "right" amount every day.

If you want to join in, you can get a 45 day free trial of Shop n Cook by visiting the url given with the nutritional analysis. It is very easy to use and I can get a full nutritional breakdown with far less work than it used to take me just to calculate iron content.


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