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About RDIs...

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  • About RDIs...

    I've been thinking about the subject lately, especially as I've been looking to balance my nutrition. It occurs to me that RDIs were basically born from CW -- the scientists who tell us to eat 6-11 servings of whole grains each day. If they're wrong about the food pyramid, which I believe them to be, how can I trust them to be right about how much Calcium or Vitamin A I need? And if I can't trust them, whom should I trust? Is there any research on micro-nutrient needs from a truly independent source, i.e. not funded by the grain lobby or whatever?

    This has really been on my mind for weeks, since I've been experimenting with my macro-nutrients. I looked at the RDIs for protein, fat and carbohydrates, and pretty easily determined that the FDA doesn't know what they're talking about. I know, duh. Three hundred grams of carbs per day is ridiculously high. I eat around 130, and that's 8-9 servings of fruits and veggies! All the info I found is similar to what I found on LiveStrong, btw.

    If they've got such crazy RDIs for macro-nutrients, how can I trust them on my RDI for micro-nutrients? How do I determine what my intake for those should be?
    Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

  • #2
    I think some of them are pretty accurate. I don't know which ones, but... essentially, they found the cause of certain illnesses were due to lack of certain nutrients (such as jaundice) and experimented to see how much of vitamin X was needed to stave off the illness. Then with certain vitamins/minerals, they found tolerable upper limits as well. Carbs are different because unless a person is diabetic, there isn't going to be an immediate, recognizable illness directly associated with consumption for a looong time.

    If you are truly worried, get some testing done to see where your levels are of any nutrients you're worried about. Then eat more of vitamin/mineral X if you are low. Whole foods are best sources.
    Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

    2012 Goals:
    Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
    More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
    LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
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    • #3
      I'm not worried about any particular nutrient, I just don't know what to trust anymore when it comes to nutrition. Our government and modern researchers seem to be recommending that we eat certain foods that will harms us (grains, legumes), so I'm not so sure what to believe of what they say as far as vitamins and minerals are concerned. We need research not funded by food lobbyists or done by researchers looking to prove a predetermined conclusion.
      Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.


      • #4
        I just posted this in another forum, but I've heard RDA referred to as "minimum wage nutrition"

        Plus, I believe all of the numbers we are using for the contents of different foods were measured decades ago, and due to soil depletion probably do not contain the same quantities of vitamins and minerals.

        I think you have to go with good organics and some supplementation to even get close.


        • #5
          I think RDI's are set at a level to avoid certain diseases, e.g. 150mcg of iodine to avoid goitre. This does not necessarily mean that they are the correct level to guarantee optimum health. How you find that out I don't know. Paul Jaminet in the Perfect Health Diet has had a stab at it though, and I think it is a good place to start.
          My website:


          • #6
            I think some of them are way off - if you aren't eating grains etc. One that bugs me is calcium. Aren't grains supposed to be acid forming and leach calcium from the body? So if you aren't eating acid forming foods with anti nutrients, then will you need as much calcium? Same with some of the minerals which are supposed to bind to things in grains. Surely without the anti nutrients then the requirement for certain minerals will decline?

            And how to get that level of vitamin E from diet without nuts, grains, pulses etc?


            • #7
              jo - I'll definitely check out Jaminet. It may be worth a read, anyway.

              breadsauce - Wow, our thoughts are exactly the same. That is just the question that's been bugging me! Thanks for phrasing it so much more succinctly than I was able to!
              Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.