Nutritional Investigation: Rice and Oil

3445 words (14 pages) Essay

27th Sep 2017 Health Reference this

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INTRODUCTION

In our modern society we eat anytime and anywhere, often unaware of the fact that food profoundly influences our emotional and physical well-being. With more and more brands establishing in our food market, it is difficult for us, people of all ages, to make better and healthier food choices.

As a group of students undergoing Science for Everyday Living module, we were tasked to investigate products with information from the nutritional label to determine which the healthier choice is. Our choice of products are rice and oil. This is because, these are what we consume on a daily basis and it would be greatly beneficial if we start making the right choices from now onwards.

WHAT DOES FOOD MEAN TO YOU?

Food is an essential element for human survival and growth, and there has never been any other satisfactory human body fuel that could replace it, and because of that, it is something we consume in our daily life. It supplies us with energy and even regulate our body processes. In addition, food is valued for its palatability and satiety effect. Hence, it is important to know what we are consuming as our body deserves the best. Also, keeping to a healthy lifestyle is vital to improving our health and general well-being.

WHAT IS EXACTLY IN OUR FOOD?

Our food contains many nutrients that enables our body to function. These nutrients can be both good and bad for our body. As a result, this explains the importance to know more about the different types of nutrients found in our food.

In total, there are 6 major classes of nutrients – Fats, Carbohydrates, Protein, Minerals, Vitamins and Water.

OUR INVESTIGATION

  1. RICE

For thousands of years, rice has been a staple food source in many Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand and India. About 90% of the world’s rice is produced and consumed in Asia. It is easy to cook and is used as a base for many dishes.

The Dietary Guideline recommends 5-7 servings of rice and alternatives, of which at least one serving should be a wholegrain product. And according to the National Nutrition Survey 2010 by Health Promotion Board, the mean intake of rice and alternatives in Adult Singaporeans is 6.80 servings.

With rice being a major and essential part of our diet as carbohydrates, it is important for us to make healthier choices. However, healthier choice symbols are only entitled to brown rice as it contain whole grains. Below, we will show you which brand is a healthier choice using the nutritional information panel.

We would be comparing the following brands:

  • NewMoon Thai Hom Mali Rice (5kg)
  • SongHe Thai Hom Mali Rice (5kg)
  • GOLD Fairprice Thai Hom Mali Rice (5kg)

We chose Thai Hom Mali Rice because it is one of the more common type of rice consumed domestically with a high Glycaemic Index (GL) of 99 (SOURCES: A book called Forever Young Forever Fit). According to the Diabetic Society of Singapore, the GI is a numerical way of describing how much the carbohydrate in individual food affects blood sugar levels. Foods with low GI, ranking from 0 to 55, produce relatively small fluctuations in blood sugar while high GI foods, ranking from 70 to 100 will cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. As a result, it is recommended to consume food with low GI as it can provide many health benefits such as reducing the risk of developing Type II diabetes and heart disease. Although we are unable to change the GI value, we can still consume Thai Hom Mali Rice and lead a healthy lifestyle by making healthier choices and eating a balanced diet.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PANEL

Brand

NewMoon

new

SongHe

songhe

gold GOLD Fairprice

Energy (kcal)

355

361

349

Protein (g)

5.8

6.3

7.1

Total Fat (g)

0.9

0.6

0.5

Saturated Fat (g)

0

0

0.1

Cholesterol (mg)

0

0

0

Total Carbohydrates (g)

80.9

82.6

79

Dietary Fibre (g)

0.9

0

0.4

Sodium (mg)

9

12

22

Thiamine (B1) (mg)

0

0

0.1

Riboflavin (B2) (mg)

0

0

0.6

Calcium (mg)

0

0

11

Iron (mg)

0

0

1.4

Phosphorus (mg)

0

0

118

Cost ($)

14.25

14.50

11.80

*1kcal = 4.2kJ

OUR RESULTS

Based on our analysis, we conclude that GOLD FairPrice is the healthier choice, followed by NewMoon and then, SongHe.

Firstly, GOLD FairPrice has the lowest energy/calories. It is important to consume food with low calories as eating too much per day is linked to overweight and obesity, Secondly, it also has the lowest total fats and carbohydrates. These are of some of the nutrients that we must limit ourselves from consuming too much as it may increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancers or high blood pressures. Thirdly, it contains Dietary Fibres. Dietary Fibres are often lacked in many of our food diet, it is important to consume it as it promotes healthy bowel function. Lastly, it is the only brand with additional nutrients such as Calcium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Iron and Phosphorus. These are some of the nutrients that can improve our health and help reduce the risk of some diseases and conditions.

However, although GOLD FairPrice contains the highest Saturated Fats and Sodium among the three brands, it is still the healthier option as both nutrients are within the recommended limit per day. According to Department of Nutrition and Diabetics at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the recommended limit of Saturated Fat per day is 17g for Female and 21g for Male. GOLD FairPrice contains 0.1g per serving. As for Sodium, the recommended per day is 2000mg and GOLD FairPrice contains 22 mg per serving. Therefore, despite having the highest Saturated Fats and Sodium among the brands, it is still the healthier option as it is within the recommended limit per day and the reasons mentioned above.

ALTERNATIVES

As mentioned above, GOLD FairPrice is the healthier option. However, it does not have best quality and taste for everyone’s liking. Hence, to satisfy both, NewMoon can be another healthier choice option that we can choose from.

  1. COOKING OIL

We use cooking oil in almost every food we consume. It is also a source for fats, which important role in our body. However, eating too much may lead to weight gain and obesity.

With a large array of cooking oil choices at the supermarket, it is easy to be overwhelmed and difficult to make the right choices. Fat makes up about 25-30% of our total energy intake. Based on a typical 2000kcal diet, the total fat allowance is about 55 to 65g a day. It is easy to exceed this allowance and therefore, this is why we need to make healthy choices

We would be comparing the following brands and types of oil:

  • Sunbeam Sunflower Oil (2L)
  • Knife Corn Oil (2L)
  • NewMoon Canola Oil (2L)

We chose the following types of oil because

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PANEL (Per 100ml)

Brand

Sunbeam Sunflower Oil

sunbeam

knife Knife Corn Oil

NewMoon Canola Oil

newmoon

Energy (kcal)

900

900

819

Protein (g)

0

0

0

Total Fat (g)

100

100

90.6

Saturated Fat (g)

11.2

13.5

7.4

Monounsaturated Fat (g)

26.3

27.5

58.4

Polyunsaturated Fat (g)

62.5

59

24.2

Omega 3

0

0

6.7

Omega 6

0

60

17.6

Trans Fat (mg)

0

1.5

0.55

Cholesterol (mg)

0

0

0

Total Carbohydrate (g)

0

0

0

Dietary Fibre (g)

0

0

0

Sodium (mg)

0

0

0

Healthier Choice Symbol

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cost ($)

   

7.90

*1kcal = 4.2kJ

OUR RESULTS

From this, we conclude that NewMoon Canola Oil is the healthiest option.

Firstly, NewMoon Canola Oil has the lowest energy/calories. With a low energy/calorie diet, it will help to reduce the risk of obesity. Secondly, it contains the lowest Saturated Fats. It is important to consume food with less or no Saturated Fats as they are “bad fats” and it increases the LDL cholesterol in blood and risk of heart disease. Thirdly, most of its total fats are composed of Unsaturated Fats. Unsaturated Fats are considered as “good fats”, it helps to lower the total and LDL cholesterol levels in blood. Therefore, it is healthier and better to consume more Unsaturated Fats than Saturated Fats. Lastly, NewMoon Canola Oil is the only cooking oil, among the three brands, that contains extra nutrients such as Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are Polyunsaturated Fats that helps to reduce blood clotting in the arteries, prevent them from hardening which in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease.

However, although NewMoon Canola Oil contains Trans Fat, it is still a healthier option as it is within the recommended limit of 2g per 100g product.

ALTERNATIVES

Although NewMoon Canola Oil is the healthier option, we cannot say that it will be the best option for all type of cooking methods. This is because, different types of oil have different uses. For example, Canola Oil and Corn Oil are healthier for frying and baking while Sunflower Oil specialises in cooking, margarine and shortening.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, based on our comparison and analysis, GOLD FairPrice Thai Hom Mali Rice and NewMoon Canola Oil is healthier option. However, this may not apply to everyone as we all have different dietary requirements. Therefore, it is always important to look out for the nutritional information panel to suit your dietary needs.

OUR REFLECTION

THE ROLES OF NUTRIENTS

Note: The following below are the functions and roles of nutrients mentioned above.

FATS

Fats supplies our body with energy, maintain body temperature and protect our nerves. It provides our body with approximately 9 kcal/gram of energy and the recommended daily intake is not more than 30% of our total daily calorie intake.

There are two types of fats:

  • Unsaturated fat: A healthier type fat that helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. It can be classified as either monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat.
  • Saturated fat: A type of fat that can lead to heart disease if too much is consumed.

CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates supplies energy for our body’s functions. It provides our body with approximately 4 kcal/gram of energy and the recommended daily intake is 55-60% of our total daily calorie intake.

There are two types of carbohydrates:

  • Simple carbohydrates – also known as sugars.
  • Complex carbohydrates – made up of sugars that are linked together chemically to form long chains.
  • Dietary fibre is a type of complex carbohydrate that is found in plants. It prevents constipations and heart disease, and reduces the risk of colon cancer.

PROTEIN

Protein is important for the growth and repair of our body’s tissues and it can serve as a source of energy. It provides our body with approximately 4 kcal/gram of energy and the recommended daily intake is 10-15% of our total daily calorie intake.

MINERALS

Minerals are zero calorie, inorganic elements found in nature. It functions as building blocks for body tissues such as bones, teeth and muscle and it is also involved in the regulation of metabolism such as oxygen transport and maintenance of water supplies.

Minerals are classified into two groups:

  • Macro minerals
  • Micro minerals

Macro Minerals (Major Minerals)

Macro minerals have a recommended daily intake greater than 100mg per day or the body contains more than 5grams.

There are seven macro minerals:

Calcium

Magnesium

Sodium

Sulfur

Phosphorus

Potassium

Chloride

 

Nutrients

Best Sources

Functions

Calcium

Milk, milk products

  • Building strong bones, teeth and muscle tissue
  • Regulates heart beat
  • Sending and receiving nerve signals
  • Controlling muscle actions
  • Blood clotting

Phosphorus

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, dried beans, whole grains

  • Bone development
  • Important in protein
  • Fat and carbohydrate utilization

Sodium

Salt, in most foods, large amount in processed food

  • Fluid balance
  • Acid-base balance
  • Transmission of nerve impulses

Micro Minerals

Micro minerals are minerals needed in quantities less than 100mg per day or only extremely minute amounts or a few micrograms.

Iron

Fluoride

Zinc

Copper

Selenium

Manganese

Iodine

Molybdenum

Chromium

Nutrients

Best Sources

Functions

Iron

Organ meats, meat, fish and poultry, dried beans, whole grains, enriched grains, green leafy vegetables

  • Formation of haemoglobin in blood
  • Formation of myoglobin in muscles, which supplies oxygen to cells

VITAMINS

Vitamins are non-caloric organic compounds essential for the optimal functioning of many different physiological processes that are necessary to maintain life.

There are two types of vitamins:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins
  • Water-soluble vitamins

Water-soluble Vitamins

Vitamins B and C are water-soluble vitamins and are not stored in the body. Therefore, daily intake is essential to the body.

Nutrients

Best Sources

Functions

Vitamin B1, Thiamine

Wheat germ, liver, pork, whole grains, enriched grains, dried beans

  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Appetite maintenance
  • Nerve function
  • Growth and muscle tone

Vitamin B2, Riboflavin

Dairy products, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, enriched grains

  • Necessary for fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism
  • Cell respiration
  • Formation of antibodies

HEALTHIER CHOICE SYMBOL

http://etrangle.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/vit18.jpg

The Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) on packaged food products indicates that they are healthier options. It helps consumers to make informed food choices. Products with the HCS symbol are generally lower in total fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Some are also higher in dietary fibre and calcium compared to similar products within the same food category. Although, these HCS labelled food are healthier, excessive consumption can cause weight gain. Hence, even when eating food with the HCS symbol, remember to consume in moderation.

 

PERCENT DAILY VALUE (%DV)

Percent daily values are based on the calories you need. It indicates how much of a specific nutrients one serving of food contains compared to recommendations for the whole day and it helps to determine if a serving of food is high or low in nutrients.

HOW TO CALCULATE %DV?

% DV = x 100%

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