Table of Contents
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.
Table 1. Recommended DRI/RDA
|Fat||20-35% of calories|
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 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|
|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 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|
|Total for Homemade menu||43||172||5||20||63||252|
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||
|Chili Cheese Fries||200||20||1200||80||1,2||15|
|Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Half-Size)||250||25||1020||
|Total for Wendy’s menu||650||65||3460||230||4,4||55|
|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||
|Plate Skirt Steak||10||1||152||10||1,28||16|
|Total for Homemade menu||60||6||359||24||
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)||
|Total for Wendy’s menu||2070||230||45||50||
|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||
|Plate Skirt Steak||0||0||1||1||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.