The Food Analysis

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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.

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.

Table 1. Recommended DRI/RDA

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.

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

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