Assessing the usual food intake of para-athletes enables knowledge and description of nutrient intakes, providing insight into the potential nutritional status of para-athletes and may help tailor dietary intake to their specific training needs. This study aimed to evaluate the usual intake of macronutrients and food groups and meal food patterns of athletes with a disability. We also compared dietary intake data between team and individual sport para-athletes. One hundred and one athletes with a disability from 13 Paralympic disciplines living in Brasília, Federal District, Brazil were included. Food intake was estimated from two or four non-consecutive 24-h food recalls in which para-athletes reported all food, beverages, and supplements consumed in the previous 24-h. Dietary intake analysis was performed by implementing the National Cancer Institute (NCI) method to calculate the macronutrient and food group usual intake. Macronutrient intakes were compared to Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges for the general population and food group intakes were compared to the 2008 Brazilian National Dietary Guidelines. Para-athletes consumed a low-carbohydrate, adequate protein, high-fat diet. There was no significant difference in macronutrient intake distribution between team sport and individual sport para-athletes. Most para-athletes had three main meals during the day. The prevalence of inadequate fruit servings in the middle and highest energy intake tertiles was significantly higher in team sport para-athletes (92.5% and 98.4%) than in individual sport para-athletes (90.8% and 65.5%), respectively. The prevalence of inadequate vegetable servings was significantly higher between team and individual para-athletes for the middle energy intake tertiles. Para-athletes generally consumed an imbalanced diet, which is a cause for concern given their additional physiological demands and specific training needs.

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