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Program Guide for Zolosoft Nutrition Software

 

Nutrition Access Professional allows you to record all the foods that you have eaten for specific meals and then will report on the nutritional value of each of these meals. This nutrition software program also allows you to report on a series of meals, which can be selected either by meal numbers, or by date, or a series of dates. In this way the nutritional value of the food you have eaten can be displayed over any time period you choose.

Quick Overview

The program opens with the Food List display. This part of the nutrition software program allows you to select and view the nutritional content of over 5,000 foods. You can use the scroll bar, or the Page Up and Page down buttons to search through the food list. You can also enter a search term in the box to the left of the blue Search button and then click the Search button to select all foods that have the search term in their description.  The nutritional data displayed for each item is calculated on a portion of 100 grams of the item. This makes comparisons with other items easy.

Click View on the menu and select Meal Records to view complete meals that have been created. The program provides a sample meal, recorded as meal number 1, so that you can immediately see how the information is displayed. In the Meal Record window there are 4 buttons similar to the buttons on a video tape player and they are marked as follows: |<< < > >>|. They allow you to advance through the various items in the meal to display the nutritional value of each item or to adjust the portion size. Click the button marked > to move to the next item in the meal and notice that the window is quickly updated to display the information on this item. The button marked < will move to the previous item. The button marked >>| will move to the last item in the meal, and the button marked |<< will move to the first item in the meal.

Selecting View  on the main menu allows you to toggle between the three main screens of the program, Meal Records, Food List, and Reports. For screen shots of these views click on the links above.

To create or edit meal records click on Step 1 on the menu at the top of the screen. This menu option allows you to select an existing meal or create a new meal.

If the program is being run for the first time the sample meal is already displayed so proceed to the next step by clicking Step 2 on the menu bar. Step 2 allows you to add another item to the meal or delete an item. By clicking on Add an item to the meal the Food List window will open. An orange button labeled Add this item to meal will now be active. Any item in this database can be added to the meal. As you click on an item in the list box, its nutritional value will be displayed. To add the item to the meal click on the orange button that says Add this item to meal.

After an item has been added to the meal it is time to adjust its portion size to the amount actually consumed. Click Step 3 on the menu bar and select Adjust portion size. A form will be displayed which will allow you to enter the amount of the item that was actually eaten. It will allow you to enter the amount by weight or whatever household measures are typically used for that particular food item. After entering the information in the box, click the Submit button. The nutrition software program will recalculate the nutritional values for this portion size, display the new values, and record the information in the meal record.

By repeating steps 2 and 3 several times you can record all items eaten in a meal in their correct portion sizes. By going back to Step 1 and creating another meal, the entire process can be repeated until all the meals in a day or a week have been recorded. Each meal will be given a meal number as it is created.

By clicking View in the menu at the top of the screen and selecting Report, you can generate a report summarizing the nutritional value of the meals that have been entered. You are given the option of selecting a report for one meal, a series of meals, or all the meals for a given date, or a series of dates. The nutrition software program will calculate the total nutritional value for the meals you have selected and display a report. Option buttons allow you to Save or Print the report. Reports that have been saved can be viewed by clicking the File menu at the top of the screen, and selecting Open.

Step by Step Instructions

Many program functions have been grouped under the menu selections Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3, because generally they will be used in that order. This helps make the nutrition software program easy to use. Other menu selections include File, Report, and Help. Many of the sub choices under the menu selections are also provided as buttons just below the menu bar for faster access.

Step 1. To begin using Nutrition Access Professional click on Step 1. You are presented with the choices of Add a new meal or Select an existing meal. If you select Add a new meal a window will open which allows you to enter the name and date of the meal. The next available meal number will automatically be used. In the name box enter a name for the meal, for example "Lunch" or "Snack number 2". In the date box enter the date in a standard format such as 03/23/2004 or Mar 23, 2004. The program will convert the latter example to 03/23/04. Then click the OK button. The program will return to the main screen and automatically select the Step 2 option Add an item to the meal because there are no items yet recorded for the meal. The procedure for adding items to the meal is described below under the heading Step 2.

The other option under Step 1 is Select an existing meal. When this option is selected a window will open which will list all the meals that you have created. The meals are displayed in a database format where the familiar video recorder style buttons |<< < > >>| allow you to cycle through the meals by meal number. The name and date of each meal is displayed in boxes. If you have recorded a large number of meals, it is helpful to use the >>| button, which jumps to the last meal number, or the <<| button, which jumps to the first meal number. When the meal you want to work with is displayed, click the OK button. You will then be returned to the main screen and that meal will be displayed. You can now modify items in the meal by clicking Step 2.

Step 2. The Step 2 menu gives you the options Add an item to the meal or Remove an item from the meal. When you select Add an item to the meal, the Food List reference database is displayed in order for you to select an item to add to the meal. As you click on any item in the list box, its nutritional value will be displayed in the item view window to the right. At this point all values are based on 100 grams of the item. You can browse through the items in the database and see their nutritional values by single clicking any item displayed in the list box. The list box displays items in alphabetical order. To advance through the items in the database you can use the scroll bars on the list box or click on the Page Up and Page Down buttons displayed on the screen. The Page Up and Page Down buttons on your computer keyboard can also be used for even faster scrolling through the items. Also the first letter or first several letters of an item such as "Spinach" can be typed on the keyboard and the list box will fast forward to display items beginning with those letters. There is a timer function built into the program so that the letters must be typed fairly quickly for this feature to work. Then after a few seconds any new letter typed will reset the search function to items that begin with that letter. 

You can also enter a search term in the box to the left of the blue Search button and then click the Search button to select all foods that have the search term in their description. A search may result in over one hundred items or may result in just a few items. To refill the Food List with all 5,800 food items, click the blue Reset button.

When you find the item you wish to add to the meal, click on the orange button labeled Add this item to meal. For example, if "Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt" is being displayed and you click the orange button, it will be added to the meal. You will notice that the item view window displays the nutritional information on 100 grams of spinach. So if you ate one quarter of a cup of cooked spinach you need to adjust the portion size. Now is the time to do that. Click on Step 3, and select Adjust portion size. The procedure for adjusting portion size is described below under the heading Step 3. You can continue to add items to the current meal by selecting Add an item to the meal again, until all the items you want to record have been added.

The second option under Step 2 is Remove an item from the meal. When this option is selected, the item that is currently being displayed will be removed from the meal. It is important to note that this does not delete the item from the reference database, it only deletes it from the currently selected meal. So the item can be selected again from the reference database and added to a different meal.

Step 3. The Step 3 menu displays only one option, Adjust portion size. Clicking that option will open a window that will allow you to select a portion size for the item currently displayed. To continue the example from Step 2, where spinach was selected, you are given the choice of entering the amount of spinach you ate in grams or in cups. Click on the round radio buttons to the left of these choices to indicate your preference. After clicking on the button for entering "1 cup portions" you can enter the amount in the box to the right. Whole numbers or decimals can be entered. In other words 0.25 is a valid entry and indicates 1/4 of a cup. Then click the Submit button. You will notice that the item view window now displays "Quantity: 0.25, Unit: 1 cup, Total weight: 45 grams" indicating that the nutritional values displayed now represent those found in 1/4 cup of spinach.

Directly below is a partial screen shot of the Reports view.  For a full screen shot click here.

Reports. Once all the items for a meal have been entered you can view a report for the meal. Reports can be generated for one meal or several meals at once. The report menu offers four choices. The first choice is Report for a specific meal number. Clicking on this choice will display a dialog box where you can enter the meal number for which you want a report. Then click OK. A report will be generated that will add together the nutritional values for all the items in that meal number. At the top of the report will be the meal number, date of the meal, and number of items in the meal. Then the totals for calories and nutrients will be listed. If the check box was selected for calculating the Percent Daily Values, they will also be displayed. Percent Daily Values are guidelines developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. If your calorie needs are higher or lower, the daily values for carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber would be proportionally higher or lower also. Daily values for vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol would remain the same. Note that the FDA has not set daily values for monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats. Their guidelines are intended to focus on total fat and saturated fat.

After several meals have been entered reports can be produced that cover all the meals in a day or over several days. The second option under the report menu is Report for a range of meal numbers. This option will allow you to enter the meal numbers for the first and last meal in a series. A report will be produced that totals all the nutrient values in all of the meals included. The Percent Daily Values are the easiest to interpret when examining a report for a single meal or the meals included in one day, so this should be kept in mind when entering a range of meal numbers.

The third option under the report menu is Report for a specific date. Under this option you enter the date for which you want a report and the nutrition software program will select all meals that have that date for their meal date. This is the date you entered in the date box when you created the meal.

The fourth option under the report menu is Report for a range of dates. Under this option you enter the first and last date for which you want a report and the program will select all meals during the time period included within those dates. This option is useful for calculating total calories and nutrients consumed in a week.

Option buttons allow you to Save or Print the report. Reports that have been saved can be viewed by clicking the File menu at the top of the screen, and selecting Open. Since the reports are saved as standard text files they can also be opened in any text editor or word processor. The Print button will send the report to your printer in a standard two page format. If you would like to format the information in other ways, you can save the report as a text file and then open it in your favorite word processing program for custom formatting.

File. Clicking on the File menu at the top of the screen will offer you the choice of opening a previously saved report or exiting the program. Note that the meals you create while using this nutrition software program are automatically saved and will be available for selection the next time the program is run. They will remain in the database until you specifically delete all the items in a meal.

 

Database Information

The nutritional data used in Nutrition Access Professional comes from the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release Number 14, and is compiled from published and unpublished sources. When nutritional data is displayed for an individual item, in some cases the amount of a nutrient such as zinc will be listed as zero and in some cases the field will be blank. There is a difference in these displays. If the amount of a nutrient in an item is listed as zero, it means the item was tested for that nutrient and no significant amount was present in 100 grams of the item. If, on the other hand, there is simply a blank space after the nutrient then it means that a test for that nutrient was not conducted for that particular item. Most of the records for natural foods have complete results for each of 27 nutrients at this time, where as many brand name packaged items have not been tested for all 27 nutrients.

The information contained and provided by this nutrition software program is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed to be totally free of errors. The user assumes responsibility for the use of the information, using his or her judgment.