How'm I Doin'? Analysis of Yesterday's Eating

How'm I Doin'? Analysis of Yesterday's Eating

How'm I Doin'? Analysis of Yesterday's Eating

Outrageous experiments in sensible eating.
Jan. 13 2011 12:07 PM

How'm I Doin'? Analysis of Yesterday's Eating

Some of you have expressed disappointment that I'm not offering more detailed analysis of what I'm eating as compared with the USDA's MyPyramid, so I've analyzed yesterday's eating using their tools. Here's how I did based on the pyramid's food groups.

Ellen Tarlin Ellen Tarlin

Ellen Tarlin is a former Slate copy chief and writer of the "Clean Plate" blog. Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston PhoenixBrooklyn Bridge, Bark, and  the RISK storytelling podcast. Follow her on Twitter.

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And here's a more detailed analysis of my intake of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.). Sorry, I had to break it into two images, and they don't line up quite right.

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These are fun tools, and this is interesting information to have; however, I don't want to get too hung up on trying to get all the numbers exactly right for several reasons. First of all, MyPyramid is not a perfect plan. You see how it divides grains from meat and beans? It is counting grains as carbohydrates and meat and beans as protein, but beans contain both protein and carbohydrates and could be counted as either or both. As you can see, the first and second graphic show that I didn't have enough grains, but the third and fourth graphic show that I had more than enough protein, carbohydrates, and fiber and those came primarily from the lentils.

Some commenters have discussed the large amount of milk products the pyramid recommends as being due to the influence of the milk and dairy industry. According the nutrition professor Marion Nestle, the human body does not require animal products to survive.

Of course, these numbers are also estimates based on the data I entered into the system (and I'm pretty sure I entered too much salt) and on the limited number of foods available in MyPyramid's database. And, as some commenters have noted, your intake on one particular day isn't as relevant as looking at a larger time frame, such as a whole week. Finally, as I realized during the first week, MyPyramid's recommendations really aren't enough food for me.

So it all must be taken with a grain of sodium chloride.

However, I am going to try to analyze some of my other eating days to see what my eating trends are.