Nutrition & Health

Introduction to Health and Wellness – HWE200

Analyze your daily fat, saturated fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and caloric intake. Explain how your numbers compared with the goal levels

I used MyFitnessPal to track my food intake for one day. I consumed a total of 956 calories with a goal of 1,200. Typically, my goal increases based on how intense my workout was that day. I was below my calorie intake, but I tracked the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend during which I consumed more than my fair share of additional calories. The breakdown of my total calories consisted of 30 grams of fat; I was way under my goal of 70 grams. Saturated fat was at seven grams out of my goal of 15 grams. Sugar is my weakness and it shows, I consumed a total of 74 grams with a goal of 52 grams. Finally, my carbohydrates came in at 143 grams out of 174 grams.

Identify what vitamins and minerals fell below the goal level

I like that MyFitnessPal tracks vitamins and minerals, although I do take a multi-vitamin and calcium daily. Solely based on food my vitamin and mineral totals were; sodium 1753mg out of 2,300 (547 mg short), potassium 823 mg out of 3,500 (2,677 mg short, eek), vitamin A 53%, vitamin C 47%, Calcium 21%, and iron 15%. My low numbers for vitamins are minerals were a combination of not enough calories for the day and needing more fruits and vegetables.

Elaborate on how your protein intake compared with the goal level. Discuss specific grams.

When I was better about tracking my food intake, I set my macros to 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 20% protein. Based on these macros I consumed 16% of the 20% goal which breaks down to 39 grams out of 66 grams (27 grams short).

Explain the role and importance of consuming each of the following:

Minerals are “chemical elements required by the body for normal functioning.” (Powers & Dodd, p 219, 2017). Minerals have different functions in the body, regardless of the type of mineral, they are essential for proper body functions such as; keeping bones, muscles and the heart in working order (MedlinePlus, n.d.). People think that calcium is just to help with bone strength, but it is also essential for muscle contraction and relaxation.

Vitamins are “essential organic (carbon-containing) substances that are required in the diet for normal function, growth, and maintenance of body tissues.” (Powers & Dodd, p 219, 2017). Most vitamins must come from food because our bodies can not absorb them in high enough quantities otherwise. This is also the reason a variety of fruits and vegetables should be included in every diet.

Carbohydrates come in two forms, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates break down into sugar (glucose) quickly and are stored for easy energy. If there is not room for it to be stored in the muscles and liver, it is stored as fat. Complex carbohydrates are also used for energy but do not breakdown as quickly and are usually high in fiber, which provides that full feeling longer.

Water is essential to our survival as our bodies are made of 60% – 70% water (Powers & Dodd, 2017). Humans can survive without food for up to three weeks but only one week without water (Spector, 2016). Water helps regular body temperature, aids in digestion, helps with nutrient absorption, is essential to blood formation, and waste elimination. It is common knowledge that we should consumer eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day, more for those who exercise or live in a hot environment. Essentially, anytime you sweat a lot, drink more water.

Protein is essential because it builds and repairs body tissue as well as synthesis enzymes, hormones and antibodies. There are 20 different amino acids, nine of which are essential, also called complete (Powers & Dodd, 2017). Complete proteins can only be found it animal products and soy, but the good thing is non-essential proteins are typically only missing one or more its components, so couple with another non-essential protein that has the missing elements, it makes a complete protein. An example would be beans and rice. This is great news for vegetarians.

Fiber comes in two types, soluble and non-soluble. Soluble dissolves in water, like its name indicates, and helps sustain fullness by delaying the emptying of the stomach. Insoluble fiber add bulk, helps with regular bowel movements, and aids in keeping the colon clean (Powers & Dodd, 2017). Americans do not consume adequate amounts of fiber due to the highly processed foods found in most diets. Fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates typically have the highest fiber content. Just another reason for the bulk of any diet to includes these foods.

Fat for many years was enemy number one and now seems to be every Keto lovers’ best friend. While it does play an important role in diet, the type and amount are important to consider. As with fiber there are two main types, saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fat can be found in plants and be identified by being liquid at room temperature. It is considered healthy because it does not increase blood cholesterol. Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, found in animal by products, coconut and palm oil, and can increase bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein – LDL) which can lead to heart disease (Powers and Dodd, 2017). Fat should be included in a healthy diet but the right type and close eye on quantity is important.

Identify the effect your diet has on your health and wellness. Does your dietary intake protect you or increase your health risks?

My diet is decent normally. I try to include a variety of whole foods with the bulk coming from fruits and vegetables, followed by lean meat, “healthy” fat, complex carbohydrates, and of course adequate water based on my workout for that day. When I fall short, I feel fatigued and do not perform well at CrossFit. I believe my eating habits have set me up for a long and healthy life with a low risk of disease or premature death.

Explain two chronic diseases directly related to an unhealthy diet

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “Unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S., due to nutrition- and obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.” (n.d., p 1). In 2016 dietary risk (other than BMI) had a higher death rate than tobacco use and high blood pressure. American’s typically eat to many calories, saturated fat, and added sugar all while lacking adequate amounts of whole foods. A poor diet coupled with a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for an early death.

Explain two ways you could improve your diet. Be specific and provide examples

Based on the day I tracked my food intake; I did not consume enough calories especially because I went to CrossFit that morning. I do not typically under eat, I tend to overeat or am very close to my goal. I do need to get back into the habit of meal prepping on the weekend, so I am not tempted to grab something unhealthy after a long day at work. Breakfast and lunch are usually the times I eat the best because I almost always eat breakfast before work and pack a lunch. Another area of improvement is limiting my sugar intake. I have a sweet tooth occasionally and I need to find a healthy balance of indulging without overdoing it.


Center for Science in The Public Interest, (n.d.). Why Good Nutrition is Important. Retrieved from,cancer%2C%20and%20type%202%20diabetes.

MedlinePlus, (n.d.). Minerals. Retrieved from

Powers, S. K., & Dodd, S. L. (2017). Total fitness & wellness, the Mastering Health edition (7th ed.). Retrieved from

Spector, D., (2016). How Long A Person Can Survive Without Water. Retrieved from,seems%20to%20be%20a%20week&targetText=A%20human%20can%20go%20for,water%20is%20a%20different%20story.

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