Saturday, September 8, 2001

day 119, Galehead Hut c, NH

Start:  Liberty Springs Tentsite
End:  Galehead Hut campsite
Miles:  10.4 today, 1806.8 total

I may have hit on something profound.  You've got a food item, say a Snickers bar (regular size).  The total weight of the bar is 59 g.  Of that 59 g, 14 g are fat, 35 g are carbs, 4 g are proteins, and the remaining 6 g we'll lump together as "other".  I then look at the typical food I eat in a day and break each item down in a similar manner.  Then, I add up all the fats, all the carbs, and so forth.  Note that my daily diet is basically 2 Pop Tarts, a bagel & PB for breakfast, various snack items all day, and then a Lipton noodle packet with tuna and powdered milk for dinner.  I have not yet tallied the nutrition info for the Pop Tarts, lemonade mix, gorp, dried fruit, and powdered milk.  So... of the stuff I have tallied, I've found that my diet is basically 11% fats, 54% carbs, 13% proteins, and 22% "other".  Talking to Silver Wings again this evening, he was saying that he read at a nutrition website that endurance athletes typically eat 30%, sometimes 35%, fat, so I'm low in that category.  Carbs are ok.  Protein is also ok.  The glaring number, though, is that 22% in the "other" category.  Much of that comes from the tuna and bagels (both of which contain water as an ingredient... hmm... carrying extra weight perhaps?)  Peanut butter, as it turns out, has only 1 g of "other" and 16 g of fat - an awesome trail food.  I will pursue this further, as food is my burden and energy out here.

Post-hike note:  Silver Wings' "30% fat" number may have been referring to the portion of daily caloric intake which comes from fat... as opposed to the portion of daily intake in terms of weight (grams) which comes from fat.  Given that a gram of fat provides 9 calories, and a gram of carbs and protein each provide 4 calories, my diet's % breakdown in terms of caloric intake was probably closer to 20% fat, 44% carbs, 11% protein, and 25% "other".  The validity of having an "other" category might also be debatable... I'm not a nutritionist.

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