By: Karim Damji, CSUN Dietetic Intern
If you are considering changing your diet, it is important to get a clear picture of what your current diet looks like. However, this can be quite a challenging task. Try this challenge: list every single item and portion you consumed yesterday. That includes the bite sized candy in the afternoon, the teaspoon of sugar you added in your coffee, and the two slices of cheddar cheese in your sandwich. Relying on memory may not give you an accurate picture of your diet. This is why food diaries are ideal; they take memory out of the equation. Even better, 3-day recalls allow individuals to be able to record 2 weekdays, and a weekend, representing a complete picture of their diet. Additionally, 3-day recalls have been shown to be a more accurate picture of diet than a traditional food frequency questionnaire1.
One of the Marilyn Magaram Centers most helpful services is diet analysis. Simply submit a 3-day food record electronically and staff will analyze your food intake. This analysis includes a full macronutrient and micronutrient profile breakdown, allowing you to easily identify important nutrients that may be lacking in your diet. Diet analysis by the Marilyn Magaram Center can also enable you to track changes in your nutrient intake with a second follow-up session.
Whether you are a home chef or a business owner, recipe analysis helps you understand the nutritional content of your foods. This may seem like an easy task, but food composition analysis is in fact very complicated. Many people think nutrition students and dietitians are living encyclopedias that can tell you the vitamin C content in any given item. In fact, as recent as 2003, only 550 people on earth have received actual classroom-based postgraduate education on food composition2. Fortunately this is slowly changing. The Food and Agriculture Organization has provided a course that has been incorporated in the curricula of over 25 universities across the world3. In the meantime, recipe analysis remains a task that requires skill and expertise. If you would like reliable recipe analysis, simply submit your recipe, fill out a questionnaire regarding preparation, and trained staff at the Marilyn Magaram Center will provide a nutrition facts label in the latest format, along with an ingredient list, nutrient analysis and food safety guidelines. Trained staff meticulously analyze each recipe, taking into account the qualities of each ingredient. The Marilyn Magaram Center’s nutrition experts will ensure nutrient analysis is done right.
Diet and recipe analysis can be completed virtually, with no need to step into the office. Services can be purchased through the Marilyn Magaram Center website. For further questions, contact the Marilyn Magaram Center
1. Yang YJ, Kim MK, Hwang SH, Ahn Y, Shim JE, Kim DH. Relative validities of 3-day food records and the food frequency questionnaire. Nutrition Research and Practice. 2010;4(2):142. doi:10.4162/nrp.2010.4.2.142.
2. Charrondiere U, Freisling H, Elmadfa I. The distance learning tool ‘Food Composition Study Guide’ contributes to global capacity development in food composition. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2011;24(4-5):663-669. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2010.09.008
3. INFOODS: Training. Fao.org. http://www.fao.org/infoods/infoods/training/en/. Published 2020. Accessed April 24, 2020.