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It’s Your Turn
- Calculate your daily protein requirements.
- List ten of your favorite protein-rich foods and find out the actual protein contents using the USDA National Nutrient Database, http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=8964. How easy is it for you to get all the protein you need? Are there some protein-rich food choices that you need to replace with a lower saturated fat alternative?
- Design a more plant-based menu for a day that you are willing to follow. Make sure it is balanced and has variety. Give examples of the micronutrients (other than protein) the foods contain in appreciable amounts.
- In class or at home, use two inexpensive cake mixes. Make one without adding eggs and the other by following the recipe correctly. Bake them and summarize the differences in taste, texture, and structure.
- Create a recipe for a shake made from your favorite whole foods that has the macronutrients in their recommended ranges. Also list the different micronutrients in your shake. Now that you know the shake is of good nutritional value, conduct a taste test on your friends or family.
- Read these articles about nutrition in the future http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v468/n7327_supp/full/468S21a.html and http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v468/n7327_supp/full/468S10a.html.
- Summarize three basic points about how tailoring the diet can reduce the risk for chronic disease.
Expand Your Knowledge
- Take a trip to a nearby ethnic market and either write down the names of certain foods or purchase a few interesting ones. At home, use the USDA National Nutrient Database to find out the protein contents and other nutrients in the new food items. If you cannot find values for these new foods, try these websites: http://many-calories.com/, http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/chinese-food and http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-ethnic-foods-ic3500.
- Plan a menu for one week that is completely plant-based. Look up the whole nutrient package for the items in your menu by visiting the website, http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=17032. Follow your diet plan. Record some basic health parameters, such as blood pressure and body weight, before and after following your menu plan. Assess how you feel in general after following the diet. Are you less tired or more? Are you irritable or happy? Did you exercise with more intensity or less?
- Seafood is a good source of high-quality protein. The DGAC has assessed the nutrient adequacy of diets high in seafood. Read the following document and plan a weekly menu where you consume at least 8 ounces of seafood. http://1.usa.gov/OXdk2X