The Food Coach is a tool in the Nutrient History and Nutrient Summary that shows which foods to seek and which to shun if you want to improve your nutrient balance. It identifies two kinds of foods:
Foods you at that
gave you too much of a nutrient
Foods you like that can give you more of a nutrient
To open the Food Coach:
Open the Nutrient
History or the Nutrient Summary.
Click the name or color bar of the nutrient on which you want advice. A list of the foods you've eaten that contain the most of that nutrient will open.
How it Works
Let's describe it by example: You're looking at the Past Week tab in your Nutrient History, and you click on "Magnesium." The Food Coach performs the following steps, all in a fraction of a second:
Adds up all the magnesium
you've gotten from all the foods you've eaten during the past week,
Divides by seven,
to get your average daily magnesium intake,
Compares your daily average with your Personal Daily Allowance (PDA), and
you're over your PDA, ranks
all the foods you ate that contributed the most magnesium, in descending
order of importance. These are foods to shun.
If you're under your PDA, ranks the foods you've eaten in the past month that are richest in magnesium, in descending order of richness. These are foods to seek.
Although you can trust
the Food Coach's math, its advice won't be reliable if you log your foods
carelessly. For best results, measure
and log every food every day.
The Food Coach bases its advice on your imputed intake of the nutrient, not your known intake. Your known intake of magnesium today, for example, may be low merely because you happened to log only one or two foods that report their magnesium content. (Magnesium is not required on food labels.) To cover these holes in the data, Diet Power imputes a likely intake by assuming that the concentration of magnesium (per calorie) in foods you ate that don't report magnesium is the same as the concentration in foods you ate that do. The imputed intake is often closer to the truth than the known intake—but not always. If you log sardines (high in magnesium) and no other foods reporting magnesium, for example, Diet Power will think all your calories were as rich in magnesium as the sardines were, and overestimate your intake.
Bottom line: Follow the Food Coach's advice, but not slavishly. Temper it with your own instincts and the advice of your doctor.
To close the Food Coach...
...click either its OK button or its Cancel button.
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Last Modified: 6/30/07