A well-balanced diet which includes all the main food groups ensures adequate intake of all the essential nutrients. However, it is not always clear if your diet has all the right components and in adequate amounts. To find out if you are getting the right amounts, there are quite a few different ways to assess your diet.
There are several common methods for recording a person's food intake, and a few others that are less commonly used. No one method is a perfect solution and each has its pros and cons. The method to use will depend on which best fits the situation and the abilities of the patient and assessor. For example, a diet record completed over several days is more likely to generate more accurate intake information than a single 24-hour recall, though the participants may not be able to recall or record the information accurately.
- 24hr Food Recall — relies on the participant to recall the food they have eaten in a 24 hour period.
- Food Frequency Questionnaire — questions about what they usually eat.
- Food Diary — a food diary is a real-time record of what is actually eaten, usually over a period of three days.
- Photo Analysis — analysis based on photos of the plates of food eaten.
- Healthy Eating Quiz — a quiz to help you rate how healthy your eating habits are.
- The 'Health Audit' — a checklist designed for you to gauge how well you achieve the food intake recommendations on a daily or weekly basis.
- Docket Data Nutritional Analysis — using shopping receipt data to analyze food intake.
Food Intake Assessment
Once you have collected information about the food intake, the next step is to analyze the information. This is often done using food nutrition assessment software, which comprises tables of most foods that would be expected to be in the diet.
- Choosing a Healthy Diet — a healthy diet is what is right for you, depending on your specific situation.
- Diet List — discussion and comparison of a large number of diets.
- Nutrition for health