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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Surveys Research Group » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356997

Research Project: What We Eat in America - Dietary Survey: Data Collection, Interpretation, Dissemination, and Methodology

Location: Food Surveys Research Group

Title: Consuming vegetable-based salad is associated with higher nutrient intakes and diet quality among U.S. adults, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2011-2014

Author
item Hoy, M Katherine
item Sebastian, Rhonda
item Goldman, Joseph
item Enns, Cecilia
item Moshfegh, Alanna

Submitted to: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Consuming salad is one strategy with the potential to harmonize diets more closely with national dietary guidance. However, it is not known whether nutrient intake and diet quality differ between individuals who consume salad and those who do not. This study compared nutrient intake and diet quality between salad reporters and non-reporters. Adults 20 years and older (N=9,678) in What We Eat in America, NHANES 2011-2014 were included. One day of dietary intake data was collected via 24-hour recall. Individuals who ate salad on the intake day were considered salad reporters. Nutrient intake from all foods and beverages (excluding supplements) was estimated and diet quality was evaluated using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2015. On the intake day, 23% of adults ate a salad. Energy, protein, and carbohydrate intakes were not different between salad reporters and non-reporters. Salad reporters had higher intakes than non-reporters of dietary fiber, total fat, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, folate, choline, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Salad reporters also had a higher total diet quality score, which was the result of higher scores for intake of total vegetables, greens and beans, whole fruits, total protein foods, seafood and plant proteins, fatty acids, refined grains, and added sugars. Scores of salad reporters did not differ from non-reporters for intake of total fruits, whole grains, dairy, saturated fats, and sodium. Incorporating salads into one’s diet more often may be one effective way to increase nutrient intake and improve overall diet quality. Regardless of salad reporting status, diet quality scores show that diets of U.S. adults need improvement.

Technical Abstract: Consuming salad is one strategy with the potential to harmonize diets more closely with national dietary guidance. However, it is not known whether nutrient intake and diet quality differ between individuals who consume salad and those who do not. The objective of this study was to compare nutrient intake and diet quality between salad reporters and non-reporters. Adults 20 years and older (N=9,678) in What We Eat in America, NHANES 2011-2014 were included. One day of dietary intake data was collected via 24-hour recall. Individuals who ate salad on the intake day were considered salad reporters. Nutrient intake from all foods and beverages was estimated (excluding supplements) and diet quality was evaluated using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2015. Nutrient intake and HEI scores were compared between salad reporters and non-reporters using paired t-tests with regression adjustment for confounding variables. Results were considered significant at P<0.001. On the intake day, 23% of adults consumed a salad. Energy, protein, and carbohydrate intakes did not differ between salad reporters and non-reporters. Salad reporters had significantly higher intakes than non-reporters of dietary fiber, total fat, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, folate, choline, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Total HEI 2015 scores were significantly higher for reporters (56 of a possible 100 points) than non-reporters (50 points). Reporters also had significantly higher scores for 8 of 13 HEI components: total vegetables, greens and beans, whole fruits, total protein foods, seafood and plant proteins, fatty acids, refined grains, and added sugars. Scores of salad reporters did not differ from non-reporters for intake of total fruits, whole grains, dairy, saturated fats, and sodium. Incorporating salads into one’s diet more often may be one effective way to increase nutrient intake and improve overall diet quality. Regardless of salad reporting status, HEI scores show that diets of U.S. adults need improvement.