The Food Analysis

The food analysis conducted was aimed at finding the best meal option for it to correspond to all the recommended values. Three meal options were researched, each consisting of three items. All the items in each meal were selected in such a way that they could be compared, i.e. every item in every meal can be substituted by one of the items in another meal. Each meal consists of an entrée, side and a salad. The first meal analyzed is a meal from Wendy’s. It consist of a Dave's Hot 'N Juicy™ 1/4 lb.* Single burger (ground beef. seasoned with salt, American cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, crinkle cut pickles, red onion, tomato, lettuce, toasted bun), Chili Cheese Fries (potatoes, vegetable oil, chili, Cheddar cheese sauce, Cheddar cheese, shredded) and a half-size Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Romanie lettuce, Asiago cheese, grape tomatoes, spicy chicken fillet, gourmet croutons, lemon garlic Caesar dressing). The second meal analyzed was a meal from Del Taco, consisting from Deluxe Taco (taco shell, seasoned beef, lettuce, Cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa) as an entrée, a side of Deluxe Chili Fries (crinkle cut French fries, Cheddar cheese, seasoned beef, red sauce, sour cream, tomatoes, onions) and of a Bean & Cheese Cup (Beans, Red Sauce, Cheddar Cheese) as a salad. Homemade meal consisted of a Plate Skirt Steak (beef, plate, inside skirt steak, separable lean only, trimmed to 0" fat, all grades, cooked, broiled), rice (white, long-grain, precooked, enriched, prepared) and a Greek salad (Feta, tomato, cucumber, and olive oil). Such constituents for meals were selected because they, supposedly could form substantial meals.

Wendy’s meal items fall into different categories in the food pyramid. Thus, ground beef in burger and chicken fillet in salad fall into Meat and Beans, American cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Asiago cheese are in Milk, Yoghurt & Cheese group, chili, potatoes, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, onions are in Vegetable group, croutons and a bun are from Bread, Cereal, Rise & Pasta group. Ketchup, Mayonnaise and vegetable oil fall into Fats, Oils & Sweets.

Items represented in Del Taco meal can be divided as follows: beef used in taco and in fries as well as beans in the bean cup fall into Meat and Beans category, Milk, Yoghurt & Cheese group is represented here by Cheddar cheese used in all three items and sour cream. Tomatoes, potatoes, onions and lettuce are from Vegetable group. Taco shell is from Bread, Cereal, Rise & Pasta group.

Homemade meal items can be divided as follows: beef goes to Meat and Beans category, rice – to Bread, Cereal, Rise & Pasta group, Feta – to Milk, Yoghurt & Cheese group, tomatoes and cucumbers – to vegetables, olive oil – to Fats, Oils & Sweets.

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It can be seen that every meal has representatives of each group in the food pyramid.

The nutrition data if each item is provided in the tables below. Table 1 has information about the recommended RDA/DRI values.

Item DRI, RDA
Calories 1670
Fat 20-35% of calories
Carbohydrate 130
Protein 46
Fiber 25
Cholesterol 300mg
Vitamin A 900
Vitamin C 90
Folic Acid 400
Calcium 1000
Iron 8
Sodium 1500

Table 2. Lipid Facts

Food item Weight Total Calories Fat Calories from fat Percentage of calories from fat per total calories Cholesterol
Dave's Hot 'N Juicy™ 1/4 lb.* Single 250 580 33 290 50 105
Chili Cheese Fries 280 570 30 270 47 50
Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Half-Size) 271 440 26 230 67 60
Total for Wendy’s menu 801 1590 89 800 50 215
Deluxe Taco 106 170 12 110 64 30
Deluxe Chili Cheese Fries 340 590 35 310 53 60
Bean & Cheese Cup 220 320 4 120 38 10
Total for Del Taco menu 666 1080 51 540 50 100
Plate Skirt Steak 200 405 20 182 44 120
Rice 165 193 1 9 5 0
Greek Salad 272 260 20 180 70 12
Total for Homemade menu 637 858 41 371 43 132

Table 2 contains information about fat, calories and cholesterol in the food items. Meals with dangerous or unwished amount of these nutrients and macronutrients are marked in red. It can be seen that rice is the best item according to this data since it has the least percentage of calories from fat to total calories. Wendy’s menu in a w worst choice since it has way too much calories. The day recommended amount is 1670 and Wendy’s menu is more than 90% from it. The amount of cholesterol is dangerous too.

Table 3. Protein and Carbohydrate Facts

Food item Carbohydrate Calories from Carbohydrate Grams of Fiber Percent of recommended fiber RDA for a food item Protein Calories from protein Percentage of recommended RDA for protein of a food item
Dave's Hot 'N Juicy™ 1/4 lb.* Single 42 168 3 12 31 124 67
Chili Cheese Fries 58 232 8 32 18 72 39
Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Half-Size) 29 116 4 16 23 92 50
Total for Wendy’s menu 129 516 15 60 72 288 156
Deluxe Taco 11 44 1 4 8 32 17
Deluxe Chili Cheese Fries 44 176 6 24 6 24 13
Bean & Cheese Cup 52 208 17 68 19 76 41
Total for Del Taco menu 107 428 24 96 33 132 71
Plate Skirt Steak 0 0 0 0 54 216 117
Rice 35 140 3 12 4 16 9
Greek Salad 8 32 2 8 5 20 20
Total for Homemade menu 43 172 5 20 63 252

137

 

All the data provided in the table was analyzed in correspondence with the recommended RDA/DRI for these items. The RDA for Carbohydrate is 130, for Fiber – 25, for Protein – 46. These values cannot be followed when choosing the homemade menu where the amount of protein exceeds the recommended for 50 %. The item which is especially unwished is the steak. The Wendy’s menu in total has too much protein as well. However if one wants to avoid Carbohydrates, he should not choose Wendy’s or Del Taco menus.

Table 4. Mineral Facts

Food item Calcium DRI per cent Sodium DRI per cent Iron DRI per cent
Dave's Hot 'N Juicy™ 1/4 lb.* Single 200

20

 

1240 83 2 25
Chili Cheese Fries 200 20 1200 80 1,2 15
Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Half-Size) 250 25 1020

68

 

 

1,2 15
Total for Wendy’s menu 650 65 3460 230 4,4 55
Deluxe Taco 60 6 180 12 0,3 4
Deluxe Chili Cheese Fries 200 20 940 62 0,8 10
Bean & Cheese Cup 150 15 850 57 0,8 10
Total for Del Taco menu 410 41 1970 131

1,9

 

23
Plate Skirt Steak 10 1 152 10 1,28 16
Rice 10 1 7 0,5 1,28 16
Greek Salad 40 4 200 13 0,1 2
Total for Homemade menu 60 6 359 24

3,56

 

45

The table of mineral facts shows that Wendy’s menu it total has an unwished amount of Sodium, i.e. 230% of this mineral, all the items are nearly equally dangerous with burger having 83% of recommended day value, fries – 80%, and salad – 65%, fries from the Del Taco menu have 62% of Sodium which is bad as well and will make one avoid them not to exceed the daily limit. All the other ingredients are represented in the very small amount, so in some cases they do not satisfy the daily demands. It is especially true for Calcium in Homemade menu, which is only 6% of day norm.

Table 5. Vitamin Facts

Food item Vitamin A DRI per cent Vitamin C DRI per cent Folic Acid DRI per cent
Dave's Hot 'N Juicy™ 1/4 lb.* Single 135 15 9 10 29  
Chili Cheese Fries 135 15 9 10 38 10
Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Half-Size)

1800

 

 

200 27 30 0 0
Total for Wendy’s menu 2070 230 45 50

67

 

16

 

Deluxe Taco 90 10 7,2 8 70 18
Deluxe Chili Cheese Fries 90 10 18 20 38 10
Bean & Cheese Cup 18 2 1,8 2 446 112
Total for Del Taco menu 198 21 27 30

554

 

139
Plate Skirt Steak 0 0 1 1 0 0
Rice 0 0 0 0 72 80
Greek Salad 450 50 27 30 0 0
Total for Homemade menu 450 50 28 31 72 18

Vitamin facts shown in this table show the too big amount of Vitamin A in Wendy’s menu (230% of the daily norm), especially in the salad (200% of the daily norm), and a too big amount of Folic Acid in Del Taco menu (139% of the daily norm) especially in Bean and cheese cup (112% of daily norm)

Having analyzed all the data one can come to the conclusion that Been and Cheese Cup from Del Taco is the best option, excluding the fact that it has 112 per cent of Folic Acid needed for one during the day, all the other values are good.

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The worst item in the list is a Homemade steak with a too big amount of Cholesterol.

 

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