While using the supertracker, I have learned a few tricks. If the database dosent have the food you're looking for, you can click one that's similar and "customize" the nutrient information based on a food label you have. Another trick is to create a "combo" or "recipe" by searching individual ingredients. This seems to work best for meals made at home. Whenever you're recording what you eat, the more accurate your portion sizes, the more accurate the nutrient information will be.
As an example of diets that meet the recommended guidelines, the following is part of my term project for Meal Planning & Management class:
|Meal:||Menu:||Approximate Amount Eaten:|
|22 year old female, 125lbs, 5'9”||18yr male, 140lbs, 5'9”||3 yr old female|
|Breakfast||Oatmeal||1 cup||2 cups||½ cup|
|Almond Milk||½ cup||1 cup||¼ cup|
|Fruit Smoothie||2 cups||2 cups||1 cup|
|Lunch||Lettuce/Spinach Salad Mix||1 cup||1 ½ cup||½ cup|
|Tomato||1 medium 2.5 inch||1 large 3 inch||1 small 2 inch|
|Balsamic Vinaigrette||1 Tablespoon||1 Tablespoon||½ Tablespoon|
|Whole Wheat Spaghetti||1 cup||1 ½ cup||2 oz|
|Marinara Sauce||½ cup||¾ cup||1 oz|
|Afternoon Snack||Green Smoothie||2 cups||2 cups||2 cups|
|Dinner||Ground Beef, seasoned||4oz||4oz||3 oz|
|Flour Tortilla Shell 8 inch||2 shells||2 shells||1 shell|
|Salsa||4 Tablespoons||4 Tablespoons||2 Tablespoons|
|Shredded Lettuce||¼ cup||¼ cup||¼ cup|
|Grated Cheddar Cheese||1 oz||1 oz||2 Tablespoons|
|Snacks||Almonds, raw nuts||1/4 cup||1/4 cup||1 oz|
|Daily Recommended Intake Ranges:|
|Approximate Calories||2260 (of recommended 2200)||2799 (of recommended 2800)||1231 (of rec. 1200)|
|(12-20%)||% Calories from Protein||14||13||17|
|(45-65%)||% Calories from Carbs||61||63||52|
|(25-35%)||% Calories from Fat||30||28||35|
|Food Groups:||% Met for Grains||106||104||123|
|% met for Veggies||100||123||130|
|% met for Fruit||129||113||178|
|**||% met for Dairy||22||22||13|
|% met for Protein||113||100||147|
|Nutrients:||Dietary Fiber||34g of recommended 25g||45g of recommended 38g||22g of recommended 19g|
|##||Sodium||2455mg of rec. <2300mg||3024mg of rec. <2300mg||1293mg of rec. <2300mg|
|Calcium||1416mg of rec. 1000mg||1795mg of rec. 1300mg||820mg of rec. 700mg|
|Vitamin A||828ug of rec. 700ug||1681ug of rec. 900ug||724ug of rec. 300ug|
|Vitamin C||137mg of rec. 75mg||107mg of rec. 75mg||6mg2 of rec. 15mg|
** My meal plan matches the 2010 Guidelines for Americans except for the dairy food group. I found it strange when I did this project that no matter who you are, a toddler or a college student, the recommendation for dairy doesn't change. Every other food group changes in proportion to the number of calories recommended. I also find it weird given how much of the population is lactose intolerant. My plan incorporates whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits that fulfill the recommendations of the Guidelines. I found myself going over the recommended levels for grains, fruits or proteins easily and had to adjust. I never had trouble meeting the macronutrient ranges, but I kept exceeding them. Particularly for percent of calories from fat.
## I was under 10% of calories from saturated fat for all 3 people, according to the guidelines. For Sodium, my diet was over the recommendation by 155mg and the 18 year old male was over by 724mg. However, the 3 year old's diet was under by 1,000mg. I found it really hard to stay within the recommendation. I'm sure I'm not the only American who struggles with sodium intake, it seems to be in everything! I think we need to change the food we produce not the intake recommendations.
I'm not too worried about saturated fat intake since it was within recommended levels. The taco meat and cheese were probably the main source of it in my diet plan. The sodium intake was definitely influenced by the amount of salad dressing and spaghetti sauce. The salad dressing could have been replaced by something healthier and the sauce would have been lower sodium if it was homemade. To stay within recommended amounts I would make foods at home, reducing the amount of sodium in the recipes. I would also be sure to carefully measure out portions of dressing, sauce and cheese. It's easy in everyday life to eat more than we realize and go over for that saturated fat or sodium.
I was able to meet the dietary fiber intake recommendations for all 3 people. I believe the fiber in my diet plan comes from the fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I would agree with recommending 4 ½ cups of fruit & vegetables in the meal plan. I felt like the recommendation for daily fruit intake on my plate was kind of low. I think it is realistic for the US population if we can get people snacking on fruits and vegetables instead of chips and candy. I think we are already starting to see industry changes, fruits and vegetables are offered as snacks in more and more places. They even have apple slices and carrot sticks at the movie theater now. Consumers should not be underestimated. If the information is out there and healthy choices are made more affordable/easily available people will make better choices.
My meal plan met the Calcium, Iron, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin A recommendations for all 3 people. Vitamin D was under the recommendations for all 3. I would look for D fortified OJ and cereals. I would try to get vitamin D through natural sun exposure as weather permits.