NUTR 154 Nutrition For Healthy Living

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NUTR 154 Nutrition For Healthy Living

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NUTR 154 Nutrition For Healthy Living

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Course Code: NUTR154
University: Humber College is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Canada


Critically evaluate the following actual meal plans of the Sunnybrook Health Centre. Pick any one of the seven days and discuss the limitations of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals using holistic principles of food dynamics. Your assignment (in essay format not point form listings) should include:
1. An evaluation of expansive vs. contractive foods to determine whether this daily diet is balanced or unbalanced. Discuss any possible effects of the total day’s diet in terms of possible food cravings between meals. 2. A discussion of acid-forming, alkalinizing, and buffering foods to determine whether this daily diet is balanced or unbalanced. Discuss any possible effects of the total day’s diet in terms of possible food cravings between meals. 3. A brief discussion of the digestibility of any one meal (breakfast OR lunch OR dinner) based on principles of food combining and the compatibility or incompatibility of the individual foods. Include a brief discussion of how you would improve digestibility for that meal. 4. An evaluation of the colour balance of any one meal (breakfast OR lunch OR dinner) based on the principles of colour-therapy. Discuss whether a particular colour-group dominates and how you would achieve better balance for that meal


The formulation of a balanced diet adequate in a variety of nutrients forms the cornerstones of maintenance of a healthy and sustainable life. Further, an adequate meal plan encompassing key nutrients is of utmost importance for enhancing the treatment and recovery process of diseased patients undergoing key healthcare procedures. (Chávez-Bosquez, Marchi & Parra, 2014).
The following essay aims to critically evaluate the meal plan for Saturday, of Sunnybrook Health Science Center.
Expansive Vs. Contractive Foods
In accordance to the Ying and Yang theory of macrobiotic nutrition, a balanced meal must comprise of foods which provide an effect of energy equilibrium upon the body. Hence, food groups can be classified as being expansive (enabling one to feel slow and sluggish) or contractive (enabling one to feel quick, agile and alert). Whole grains, plant protein, whole fruits, unsaturated fats, nuts and seeds add balance to the meal, while sugars, saturated fats, alcohol and beverages are expansive and meat, salted and milk products are contractive foods (Harmon et al., 2015). The breakfast menu of Sunnybrook Health Center is not significantly balanced in terms of energy. While there seems to be an abundance of whole grain products and small amounts of fruits which are balanced in energy, the small amounts of contractive foods like eggs is not enough to balance the slowing properties of excessive sugary expansive foods like fruit juices. For lunch, the diet seems balanced with abundant source of balanced energy foods such as vegetables and whole fruits, and contractive foods such as meat products being balanced by expansive foods such as sugary desserts. The diet contains plenty of imbalances during diet since it is abundant in contractive food sources such as meat products which will be difficult to balance by less amount of available expansive food products like potatoes and sugary desserts, followed by a lack of vegetables, fruits and whole grains which could have otherwise balanced the diet in terms of energy.
Possible Food Cravings
Patients may suffer from food cravings during midnight or during the hours preceding breakfast. Further, while the abundance of high fiber whole grains during breakfast may prevent food cravings, patients may encounter the negative effects of a high fiber diet such as bloating and gastric discomfort (Brotherton et al., 2014).
Acid-Forming, Alkalinizing and Buffering Foods
Consumption of a highly acid diet results in acidosis and susceptibility to diseases such as cardiovascular and renal disorders, decreased energy and hormone production, muscle aches, oxidative stress and a compromised immune system. Meat and sugary products, cereal items, cheese and spices are acid forming foods, while alkaline forming foods include potatoes, eggs, leafy vegetables, whole fruits and dairy products (Williams, Kozan & Samocha-Bonet, 2016). The breakfast as well as dinner of Sunnybrook Health Center is abundant in acidic foods such as sugary fruit juices and beverages, meat products and cereal grains with very less amount of alkalizing foods such as potatoes, milk products and leafy vegetables. The lunch seems to be balanced as it contains acidic foods such as meat and fish, and sugary fruit desserts as well as alkaline foods such as potatoes and green leafy vegetables. Freshly prepared unsalted butter raw dairy products, whey, oils and margarine are foods which are buffering. Except forte usage of unsaturated cooking oils, the meal plan of three days is completely devoid of buffering food products (Carnauba et al., 2017).
Possible Food Cravings
Patients are less likely to encounter food cravings after breakfast due to the abundance of cereal products which contain high satiety value. However, the high fiber cereal products along with sugary beverages may also cause gastric discomfort due to their acid forming nature. The lack of high satiety fiber foods in dinner may further lead to food cravings post meal timings along with acidity due to high amount of acid forming meat products. While lunch seems balanced and unlikely to cause food cravings, it is rich in acid forming condiments such as salad dressings and sugary desserts which may cause gastric discomfort associated with acidosis (Kitsako et al., 2015).
Meal Digestibility
Each food item, based on levels of acidity and alkalinity, produce their own profile of digestive enzymes and hence, inaccurate food combinations may result in gastrointestinal discomfort (Flemmer,  2015). The breakfast diet of Saturday provided by Sunnybrook Health Center has been critically evaluated for meal digestibility. Fruits are recommended to be consumed in an empty stomach, to their rapid digestion. Hence, serving fruits with whole grain foods, as observed in the diet, will halt the process of digestion in fruits, resulting in bloating and indigestion. Hence it the fruit juices and fruit pieces for breakfast must be served separately as the first meal to be eaten on an empty stomach, instead of as a combination with other breakfast food items (Bornhorst, 2017) . High protein food sources such as eggs must not be combined with starches like bran, oats and muffins as observed in the breakfast diet. This is because, the acidic protein foods and alkaline cereal foods required completely different acid and alkalizing enzymes for digestion, hence leading to gastrointestinal disorders. Hence, protein foods must be combined with non-starchy green leafy vegetables since the latter contain a high water content and already posses enzymes, hence not requiring alkaline enzymes for digestion. Consequently, starches like cereals must be combined with buffering foods such as fats (butter, vegetable oils) or alkaline forming foods such as potatoes or leafy greens (Lovegrove et al., 2017).
Meal Color Balance
A meal plan with similarly colored food items looks visually unappealing and monotonous to eat (McCrickerd & Forde, 2016). The breakfast diet provided by Sunnybrook Health Center on Saturday has been critically evaluated for color. The breakfast the diet seems to incorporate a good contrast of colors such as colorful fruit juices, warming yellow shades from eggs and neutral notes from cereal products. However, the meal contains more amount of neutrally shaded cereal products and lacks significant amount brightly colored foods which could have enhanced the meal’s visual appeal. Hence, incorporation of brightly colored variety of whole fruits and leafy green vegetables will be a beneficial way to increase the visual appeal of the meal in terms of color (Correia et al., 2014).  
Table of Opposites (As designed by the Author)

Table of Opposites (As per the Sunnybrook Health Center Saturday diet)

Expansive Foods

Contractive Foods

Orange/apple/prune/cranberry juices, peanut butter, mashed potato, ice cream, sherbet, prune/vanilla puddings, jello, custards

Boiled/Poached egg, skim milk cheese, beef broth, scalloped salmon, minced turkey, pureed beef, thousand island dressing, baked chicken, pot roast beef

Acid-Forming Foods

Alkalizing Foods

Orange/apple/prune/cranberry juices, peanut butter, mashed potato, ice cream, sherbet, prune pudding, boiled/poached egg, turkey salad sandwich, salmon asparagus quiche, cottage cheese fruit plate, pureed beef, thousand island dressing, peach slices/pureed, beef broth, scalloped salmon, minced turkey, pureed beef, baked chicken, pot roast beef, cranberry cocktail, apple sauce, fresh apple, baked chicken

Rolled oats, cream of wheat, bran flakes, Special K, puffed rice, toasted English muffin, skim milk cheese, toast, bran/fruit muffin, mashed potato, pureed/soft green beans, cream of vegetable, mixed green, minestrone soup, steamed rice, vanilla pudding, custard, whipped squash, cauliflower florets, zucchini loaf, wax beans, mashed potato, horseradish, pureed squash

Buildup Foods

Breakdown Foods

Rolled oats, cream of wheat, bran flakes, Special K, puffed rice, boiled/poached egg, skim  milk cheese, scrambled eggbeaters, toast, toasted English/bran/fruit muffin, turkey salad sandwich, green beans, mixed green, salmon quiche, cottage cheese fruit plate, minced turkey, scalloped salmon, chicken broth, pot roast beef, sliced turkey, steamed rice, baked/minced chicken, peanut butter, whipped squash, cauliflower florets, zucchini loaf, wax beans, mashed potato, horseradish, pureed squash

Orange/apple/prune/cranberry juices, ice cream, sherbet, prune/vanilla puddings, jello, custards

Hence, it can be concluded that, despite the variety of foods offered by the meal plan of Sunnybrook Health Center, there lies considerable imbalances in the meal planning. As observed from the summary table, there is a large number of acid-forming foods in the diet which may cause acidosis and the associated health symptoms. The meal can also be improved visually through incorporation of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Further, the food combinations during breakfast need improvement since high amount of cereals or fruits served as combinations can cause gastric discomfort. Additionally, the dinner must be balanced by reducing the large quantities of acid-forming, contractive foods to decrease the possibility of gastric discomfort and food cravings post meal timings.
Bornhorst, G. M. (2017). Gastric mixing during food digestion: mechanisms and applications. Annual review of food science and technology, 8, 523-542.
Brotherton, C. S., Taylor, A. G., Bourguignon, C., & Anderson, J. G. (2014). A high fiber diet may improve bowel function and health-related quality of life in patients with Crohn’s disease. Gastroenterology nursing: the official journal of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, 37(3), 206.
Carnauba, R. A., Baptistella, A. B., Paschoal, V., & Hübscher, G. H. (2017). Diet-induced low-grade metabolic acidosis and clinical outcomes: a review. Nutrients, 9(6), 538.
Chávez-Bosquez, O., Marchi, J., & Parra, P. P. (2014). Nutritional Menu Planning: A Hybrid Approach and Preliminary Tests. Research in Computing Science, 82, 93-104.
Correia, D. C., O’Connell, M., Irwin, M. L., & Henderson, K. E. (2014). Pairing vegetables with a liked food and visually appealing presentation: promising strategies for increasing vegetable consumption among preschoolers. Childhood Obesity, 10(1), 72-76.
Flemmer, A. (2015). Green tea with lemon. Recommendations for healthy food combinations. Kinderkrankenschwester: Organ der Sektion Kinderkrankenpflege, 34(2), 65.
Harmon, B. E., Carter, M., Hurley, T. G., Shivappa, N., Teas, J., & Hébert, J. R. (2015). Nutrient composition and anti-inflammatory potential of a prescribed macrobiotic diet. Nutrition and cancer, 67(6), 933-940.
Kitasako, Y., Sasaki, Y., Takagaki, T., Sadr, A., & Tagami, J. (2015). Age-specific prevalence of erosive tooth wear by acidic diet and gastroesophageal reflux in Japan. Journal of dentistry, 43(4), 418-423.
Lovegrove, A., Edwards, C. H., De Noni, I., Patel, H., El, S. N., Grassby, T., … & Ellis, P. R. (2017). Role of polysaccharides in food, digestion, and health. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 57(2), 237-253.
McCrickerd, K., & Forde, C. G. (2016). Sensory influences on food intake control: Moving beyond palatability. Obesity Reviews, 17(1), 18-29.
Williams, R. S., Kozan, P., & Samocha-Bonet, D. (2016). The role of dietary acid load and mild metabolic acidosis in insulin resistance in humans. Biochimie, 124, 171-177.

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