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What Are Food Intake Charts?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Food intake charts, also known as food consumptions charts, are tools used for tracking the amount and types of food that an individual eats. They are often used by nutritionists to help people learn to make better food choices and to identify areas for improvement. Some people choose to use food intake charts by themselves for this purpose, since it can be a useful dieting tool as well, especially for those who are on a calorie restricted diet. The charts may be used in virtual form, on a computer, or they may be handwritten. Handwritten charts may be slightly easier to maintain throughout the day, but less convenient when it comes time to add them up.

Some food intake charts are very simple, and just require users to list the name of the food, the amount eaten, and the amount of calories in that portion. Others are more specific, and also require users to list information such as the amount of proteins or carbohydrates, for example. Some computer programs that generate food intake charts will populate this information automatically. The charts may also be divided up by different types of foods per day, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy, to name a few.

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At the end of the day or week, whenever an individual decides to, he or she can add up the amount of calories that he consumed that day. The same can be done for fats, proteins, or or other nutrients. This can help to give a good picture of the overall diet, as well as indicate where the most calories come from. The user can then determine where he or she needs to make changes, or if she is meeting her goals for food intake. For people with specific dietary restrictions, such as diabetics, this can be especially helpful.

Though it is tempting, there is really no point to lying on food intake charts, whether they will be kept private or shared with a doctor or nutritionist. Being honest will help to encourage actual changes in lifestyle and food consumption habits. If people choose to use a computer program or Internet food intake chart for this purpose, the site may even be able to offer suggestions for healthier alternatives, which is another reason it is important to be honest. Some people find it easiest to keep track of their food intake on paper throughout the day, and then transfer it into the website later.

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