Posted: April 12th, 2017

What was the food and portion size you chose? Describe its composition in terms of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.

Background: In this assignment, you will investigate the chemical composition of the foods we eat as our bodies break down food by the digestive process.

The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory has posted a resource through which you can investigate the chemical composition of foods. Go to the USDA Lab Link at USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory:


  1. Type in a keyword, then select a food group using the drop-down arrow, then click “submit.”
  2. This pulls up a menu with lots of choices.
  3. Choose one food choice, then click “submit”
  4. Next choose a portion size, then click “submit”
  5. This will bring up the nutritional information needed to complete the assignment.


  • Keyword: Apple
  • Select Food Group: Fruits and Fruit Juice
  • Apples, raw, with skin.
  • One medium

Assignment details:

A. Nutrition: Analyze the nutritional components of the food you select; and in your own words, answer the following questions using the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory Web site as listed in the unit Web resources:

  1. What was the food and portion size you chose?
  2. Describe its composition in terms of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.
  3. How many calories are in your food item? (Found in the Database as Energy – kcal)
  4. List some of the most common vitamins and minerals in this food item.
  5. Are there other important nutritional components of this food item? If so, list these. If not, say so.

B. Water:

  1. How much of your food item is water?
  2. Provide one reason why water is important for life. To adequately answer this question, it will be necessary to explain a reason for water’s importance based upon its chemical and /or physical properties.

C. Biological Molecule:

  1. State the most abundant category of biological molecule in your food: carbohydrates, lipids, or proteins.
  2. Describe the structure of this type of molecule, and its primary function(s). This section will not be a one sentence answer. In order to adequately “describe” an entire category of biological molecules, you will need to briefly review their basic molecular structures and functions.

D. Recommendation:

After identifying the nutritional components, discuss WHY you would or would not recommend this food item as part of a healthy, nutritious diet. Be sure to use references and guidelines such as the Food Pyramid and Recommended Daily Allowances to support your recommendations.

You can go to the USDA interactive Food Pyramid resources to help you analyze nutritional needs. Here is the link:

Organize and label your DB according to the four assignment parts, A. Nutrition; B. Water; C. Biological Molecules; and D. Recommendation.

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