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How accurate is your nutritional feedback?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

One of my major goals for the next couple of months is to try to not just look at the calorie content and the amounts of carbohydrate, fat, and protein I'm eating but to also pay more attention to the daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. On 1200 cals a day it is difficult to meet the RDA requirements and the daily feedback tells me I am falling woefully short in all of these.

Yesterday I decided it was time to start focusing on the iron in my diet as I am anemic and have been for years. First I looked up the daily recommendations which for women are 18 mg/ day if you are under 50 and 8 mg /day if you're over 50. Being in my 60's that would mean 8 for me but as I am anemic and trying to correct that I should probably aim for the higher number. I made sure to eat some iron rich protein in the form of lean ground beef and I have a daily egg. I ate my usual whole grain bread and for my snack I had a bowl of Kelloggs Corn Flakes which are fortified with iron among other things. Having tracked my food for the day I went to feedback. It told me I was at 42 with a goal of 100 to 150. I discovered these numbers were referring to the % daily requirement but they didn't make sense with what I consumed. I put a question on the "Spark Cafe" message board and the moderator suggested that the problem was that when people enter the nutritional information sometimes they are only interested in the calories. I went back to the entry I had used for my cereal and the person had filled out the top of the form for things like calories, carbs, protein, etc but the bottom where all your minerals and vitamins are recorded was all 0%'s! I found another entry for Kelloggs Corn Flakes with all the information and that brought my iron # up to 87%. Much more encouraging.

I wanted to write about this because I'm sure many of you have shared my experience with the daily feedback telling you that you are coming up way short on many of your daily nutrients. Some may even be taking a supplement based on this information. In the future I will be more careful to look at the nutritional information on these entries as we can't tell where they came from. Of course we could just stick to the SPark official entries but that would make our tracking a lot harder than it has to be.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This really clears up the confusion I was having about iron! I had no way of telling what the 100-150 per day was! I'm always low but I wasn't sure how to address it.
    Thank you so much for posting about your dilemma, I'll be able to do something about mine now!
    1695 days ago
    I feel the same way. thanks for posting. It is difficult, but I am working on it too.
    1701 days ago
    Thanks for sharing.
    1701 days ago
    Thanks for sharing - that explains a lot!
    1701 days ago
  • MLH148
    Ive had this, too. I had a suspiciously low calorie count one day and went back and found 0 calories listed for something. On the othe hand, I have messed up entering something in the past and couldn't delete.
    1701 days ago
    I don't rely on Spark's nutrition tracker because I can't enter my food accurately. Their database is primarily processed foods, and I don't eat anything with a brand name. If they eliminated every food with a brand name, there wouldn't be much left.

    My son is a Registered Dietician, and he told me to eat by lists. Since I track exchanges it's easy.
    1701 days ago
  • AUNTB63
    Thanks for posting this blog. I too am paying more attention to my nutritional values other than calories. I will certainly look for the % on my entries and make sure they have the info I want to track before I actually post it to my nutritional tracker. Hope you have a wonderful, healthy weekend. emoticon
    1701 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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