Foods, Filling in Nutrients, Etc., when Creating or Editing

 

Whether you're adding a new item to the Food Dictionary or revising an old one, here's how to fill in the blocks:

 

Food Name

 

Try to name the food by the same rules Diet Power usesit may save you trouble later. See Naming New Foods and Recipes.

 

Serving Size

 

Regardless of what's cited on the label, choose a serving size that suits you. Otherwise, you'll have to adjust the given serving every time you record the item on your Food Log. (If you alter the serving cited on the package, don't forget to adjust all the nutrient values proportionately. For help with the math, open the Windows Calculator by clicking the Calculator buttonor by restoring the calculator if it's already running on your Taskbar.) Also, choose a serving that's easy to gauge. If you can't weigh your foods, for example, use a volume measure.

 

The serving size is set by filling in two blocks:

 

Number

 

This block will accept any positive number, either whole, decimal, or fraction.

 

Units

 

For consistency, you must choose from the same set of units Diet Power uses. Click the drop-down button beside the block to open a list of acceptable units. Then click the unit you want. The list will disappear and Diet Power will write your choice in the Units block. (You can also use the keyboard to select the unit: just type the unit's first letter, then scroll with the down-arrow key until you reach the word you want.) If none of the units on the list exactly matches the one you have in mind, use "serving"and make clear in the food's description what "serving" means.

 

If you'd like to use a different unit of measure than the one on the labeltablespoons instead of fluid ounces, for examplesee Units of Measure, Converting.

 

The Nutrients

 

These are arranged in the same order as on food labels. If you're using the serving size cited on the package, you need only copy the numbers you see on the label. (Using the numeric keypad will save time.) Otherwise, divide or multiply each number by the same factor you used to arrive at your serving size.

 

Opposite the nutrient list are two columns, headed "Amount" and "% DV." The "Amount" column is for the absolute amount of each nutrient. This is always measured in either grams, milligrams, micrograms, fluid ounces, or International Units (IU). The "% DV" column usually (but not alwayssee the next paragraph) refers to the percentage of Daily Value (DV) that the amount represents. Depending on the nutrient, the Daily Value is either the maximum or the minimum intake suggested for an average person eating 2000 calories a day. (Never confuse Daily Values with your Personal Daily Allowances, or PDAs. DVs are used only as rough guides on food labels; PDAs apply to you.)

 

For 27 nutrients, the Daily Value is an official figure set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (See Labels, Food.) For the six other nutrients tracked by Diet Power (those marked by asterisks below), there is no DV. Instead, Diet Power uses its own Diet Power Daily Value (DPDV)an estimate garnered from reviews of medical literature. For details, see Values, Daily.

 

On most labels, the four energy nutrients and a few of the others are reported in both amount and % DV, while the rest are cited only as a % DV. Diet Power asks you to fill in only one of the columns, and automatically calculates the other for you. (In some cases, the calculated figure may differ slightly from that on the label. The difference is usually a result of rounding off, and can be ignored.)

 

You'll also find that if you use the Tab or the Super Enter key to navigate from nutrient to nutrient, the cursor automatically hops into the correct column for each nutrient, depending on which measure is standard on food labels. You can place it in either column, however, by using the left mouse button instead of Tab or Super Enter. This is for the rare occasion when a food's nutrient list doesn't follow FDA standards.

 

When a nutrient is not cited on the label, just leave its block blank. Do not enter a zero, because the nutrient may well be present in the food, but unreported. (FDA rules require most labels to report only 13 nutrients.) Exception: If you're certain that a food contains no alcohol, go ahead and enter a zero in the Alcohol field.

 

When a food supplies less than 2 percent of the Daily Value of a nutrient, the label may note this fact (usually with an asterisk) instead of citing a precise number. In that case, leave the field blank, to signify that the exact amount is unknown.

 

Following are selected notes on each nutrient. The list is arranged exactly as on a standard food label. To jump to a deeper discussion of any nutrient, just click its name.

 

CALORIES. Enter the number of calories in the serving size you've defined. Don't forget: If you've chosen a serving size different from that on the food's label, the number of calories in a serving should be different, too. Diet Power will fill in the "% DV" column, basing its calculation on the official Daily Value of 2000 calories.

 

FAT. This means total fat, usually measured in grams. Some labels break it down into grams of polyunsaturated, saturated, and monounsaturated fat, as Diet Power does for the generic foods on its original list. In the rare event that a label cites these three instead of total fat, just add the three gram figures together and enter the total. Diet Power will fill in the % DV, basing its calculation on the Daily Value of 65 grams.

 

(If you leave a blank or a question mark in the Fat column, Diet Power will automatically change it to a zero when you exit the nutrient-entry tool. Reason: Diet Power must have a total-fat figure in order to calculate a food's calorie value. If you don't provide one, the program can only assume that it's zero. The same assumption is made for the three other energy nutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol. For all other nutrients, Diet Power accepts a blank or a question mark as-is.)

 

Saturated Fat. Fill in the absolute amount, and Diet Power will calculate the % DV. (The DV for this nutrient is 20 grams.)

 

Polyunsaturated Fat*. Enter the absolute amount, and Diet Power will fill in the % DV column. (There is no government DV for polyunsaturates. But since the DVs for total fat and the saturated fraction are 65 and 20 grams, respectively, Diet Power simply divides the 45-gram difference evenly between polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, yielding a Diet Power Daily Value of 22.5 grams each. This is the figure on which the % DV is based.)

 

Monunsaturated Fat*. Enter the absolute amount. Diet Power will complete the % DV column, assuming the same 22.5-gram DPDV explained for polyunsaturated fat, above.

 

CHOLESTEROL. Enter the absolute amount, and Diet Power will fill in the % DV. (The DV is 300 milligrams.)

 

SODIUM. This means sodium, not salt, which (for common table salt) is 40-percent sodium by weight. (A level teaspoon of salt weighs five grams and contains two grams, or 2000 milligrams, of sodium.) Enter the absolute amount of sodium in milligrams. Diet Power will fill in the % DV, calculated on a DV of 2400 milligrams.

 

POTASSIUM. Fill in the absolute amount, and Diet Power will calculate the % DV, based on a DV of 3500 milligrams.

 

CARBOHYDRATE. This means total carbohydrate, which includes dietary fiber, sugars, and "other carbohydrate." If the label doesn't give a total, just add all three types together. Fill in the absolute amount, and Diet Power will figure the % DV from the Daily Value of 300 grams.

 

(Note: If you leave a blank or a question mark in the Carbohydrate column, Diet Power will automatically change it to a zero when you exit the nutrient-entry tool. To understand why, see the second paragraph of "Fat," above.)

 

Dietary Fiber. Enter the absolute amount; Diet Power will calculate the % DV. (Dietary fiber should not be confused with crude fiber, which is a substance left over when fiber is subjected to certain laboratory solvents. If the label lists both dietary and crude fiber, enter only the dietary figure. If functional fiber is listed, however, it's safe to enter that as dietary fiber. For a complete understanding of these often confusing terms, see Fiber, Dietary.) The DV for dietary fiber is 25 grams.

 

Sugars*. Fill in the absolute amount. Diet Power will complete the % DV column, based on the Diet Power Daily Value of 60 grams.

 

(Note: The daily values for fiber and sugars may not add up to that for total carbohydrates, because these include other carbohydrates not monitored by Diet Power.)

 

PROTEIN. Enter the absolute amount, and Diet Power will fill in the % DV. (The DV is 50 grams. Unlike those for other nutrients, the DV for protein applies only to adults who are not pregnant or nursing.)

 

(Note: If you leave a blank or a question mark in the Protein column, Diet Power will automatically change it to a zero when you exit the nutrient-entry tool. To understand why, see the second paragraph of "Fat," above.)

 

VITAMIN A. Enter the % DV from the label; Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount in micrograms, deriving it from the government DV of 5000 International Units (IU). If the label cites vitamin A in micrograms of retinol equivalents (micrograms RE), multiply by 0.2 to get the % DV if the food is of plant origin, or by 0.1 if it's of animal origin. Or if the label cites the amount in IUs, multiply by 0.02 to get the % DV.

 

VITAMIN C. Fill in the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 60 milligrams.

 

CALCIUM. Enter the % DV; Diet Power will fill in the absolute amount. The DV is 1000 milligrams.

 

IRON. Fill in the % DV, and Diet Power will figure the absolute amount. The DV is 18 milligrams.

 

VITAMIN D. Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 400 International Units (IU). (If the label cites vitamin D in micrograms of cholecalciferol, multiply by ten to get the % DV.)

 

VITAMIN E. This nutrient seldom appears on food labels, but since it is cited for the 21,000 entries in Diet Power's original Food Dictionary, we include it here for consistency. If it isn't reported for the food you are adding, simply leave the block empty. Otherwise, enter the % DV and Diet Power will fill in the absolute amount. The DV is 30 International Units. If the label cites the absolute amount in milligrams of alpha-tocopherol equivalent (a-TE), multiply the milligrams by 4.5 to get the % DV.

 

THIAMIN (occasionally spelled "thiamine") is the modern term for vitamin B1. Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 1.5 milligrams, or 1500 micrograms.

 

RIBOFLAVIN is the modern term for vitamin B2. Fill in the % DV; Diet Power will figure the absolute amount. The DV is 1.7 milligrams, or 1700 micrograms.

 

NIACIN. Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 20 milligrams.

 

VITAMIN B6. Fill in the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 2000 micrograms.

 

FOLATE may sometimes be listed as "folic acid" or "folacin." Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will figure the absolute amount. The DV is 400 micrograms.

 

VITAMIN B12. Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 6 micrograms.

 

PHOSPHORUS is sometimes listed as "phosphates." Fill in the % DV; Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 1000 milligrams.

 

MAGNESIUM. Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 400 milligrams.

 

ZINC. Fill in the % DV; Diet Power will figure the absolute amount. The DV is 15 milligrams.

 

COPPER. Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 2000 micrograms.

 

PANTO. ACID is an abbreviation for pantothenic acid. Enter the % DV, and Diet Power will calculate the absolute amount. The DV is 10 milligrams.

 

ALCOHOL* is measured in fluid ounces, not by weight. In the rare event that the absolute amount is given in ounces by weight, multiply it by 1.1 to get fluid ounces. Or if it's given in grams, convert it to fluid ounces by dividing by 25.5. When you enter the amount, Diet Power will fill in the % DV column, using the Diet Power Daily Value (DPDV) of 0.5 fluid ounce.

 

(Note: If you leave a blank or a question mark in the Alcohol column, Diet Power will automatically change it to a zero when you exit the nutrient-entry tool. To understand why, see the second paragraph of "Fat," above.)

 

SELENIUM is measured in micrograms. Enter the absolute amount, and Diet Power will fill in the % DV, based on the DV of 70 micrograms.

 

WATER* is measured in fluid ounces, but since a fluid ounce of water weighs, by definition, almost exactly an ounce (the weight varies slightly with temperature), you needn't worry if the food's label specifies only "ounces." Just enter the number shown, and Diet Power will fill in the % DV, based on the DPDV of 88 fluid ounces.

 

MANGANESE. This nutrient is seldom reported on food labels, but since it is cited for the 21,000 entries in Diet Power's original Food Dictionary, we include it here for consistency. If it is not reported for the food you are adding, just leave the block empty. Otherwise, enter the absolute amount and Diet Power will fill in the "% DV" column, calculated against a DV of 2.0 milligrams.

 

*

Because the Food and Nutrition Board has not set Daily Values for these five nutrients, Diet Power uses its own "Diet Power Daily Value" instead.

 

Categories

 

Diet Power has assigned each food in its original dictionary to at least one of its 72 food categories, and some to several categories. (Brownies, for example, are categorized under both Cookies and Cakes.) Each food added by a user is automatically placed in the "User-Added Foods" category, but you can also put it into one or two other categories. (You can also place it in any category instead of User-Added Foods, but then it won't show up in User-Added Foods category searches. Nevertheless, it will still retain the image\diet0050.gif symbol marking it as a user-added food.)

 

To place a food in additional categories, click any of the blank category buttons at the bottom of the page you're using to create or edit the food. This will open a list of the categories. Then scroll to the category you want, and click it. Diet Power will replace the button with a little text window containing the category name.

 

To place the food in a second additional category, repeat the procedure on the other blank button.

 

If you change your mind about any category you've chosen, click the category name and the list will appear again, ready for you to select an alternative. (To restore the button to no category, click the blank space at the top of the list.)