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Thread: Time for an interesting thought experiment... page

  1. #1
    Drumroll's Avatar
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    Time for an interesting thought experiment...

    Primal Fuel
    So... I was wondering...

    Is it possible without using ANY supplements, to design a diet that contains 100% (or more) of your RDA, of every nutrient?

    All while keeping caloric intake at a reasonable level?

    Seems like a challenge, but is it conquerable?

    Here's where you, the intrepid fans and posters of MDA come in! Is this a challenge that the combined resources if MDA can tackle?

    First, let's set some ground rules:

    1) Fat, protein, and carbs are not a part of this challenge. Micronutrients only.
    2) You can go over, just not under, the RDA for a particular nutrient.
    3) Only include nutrients with an established RDA as a part of the challenge. If there is a difference between male and female recommended values, shoot for the higher number.
    4) Whole, real foods only! We want this to be something that if we had access to all of the ingredients, we, as primal eaters would happily consume.
    5) No, you can't use supplements, protein powders, meal replacement shakes, see rule four above you dummies!
    6) Use the USDA's RDA guidelines for nutrient intake. It might be a bit lacking, but it gives us a standardized goal to shoot for.

    I'm not expecting this to be tackled overnight, not am I expecting it to even be solved next week. It could be YEARS from now, before we break the code to this meal plan (or single meal for you one-a-dayers).

    Even if we never solve it, think of the interesting discussions we can have debating if this is even theoretically possible, and the knowledge we will gain by putting this challenge to the test.

  2. #2
    Lukey's Avatar
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    been wondering about this myself for ages, I think it's definitely possible, the only thing hard to get is vitamin D, if you don't live in a sunny country like me.

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    I hit the USDA RDA for vitamin D daily with all the eggs I eat. Granted, the vitamin D guidelines set by the RDA might be a little bit low...

    But like I said, the USDA's RDAs might not be perfect, but at least they're a goal we can standardize for the challenge!

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    Lukey's Avatar
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    ah cool how many do you eat? you should keep track of all the posts and edit your original post and make a list/menu as people post.

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    From here: Five a day: The truth

    Is there a five-a-day that would be worthwhile?

    After all this, is there a perfect five-a-day? I set about doing what should have been done before any of this started. I went back to the USDA nutrition database and tried to get the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) from just five foods. This can be achieved with 100 grams of liver, 200 grams of sardines, 200 grams of whole milk, 100 grams of sunflower seeds and 200 grams of broccoli (1,300 calories). There will be infinite combinations of real foods that can provide the RDAs, but I started from the ones known to be highly nutritious.

    For interest, I repeated the experiment for a vegetarian diet and the biggest challenge became vitamin D. The RDAs could be met with five foods: 500 grams of whole milk, 450 grams of eggs (10 medium eggs), 300 grams of spinach, 250 grams of raw mushrooms grown in sunshine and 50 grams of sunflower seeds (1,360 calories). Dietary advisors applaud people for choosing a vegetarian diet, but then tell them to avoid eggs and to consume low-fat milk. It then becomes practically impossible for a vegetarian to meet even minimal nutritional requirements. I had returned to eating meat and fish before the research for this part of the book, but, this exercise gave me great concern about what lasting damage I may have done to my health during years of not eating meat and fish. Gwyneth Paltrow may also be re-evaluating her diet after sharing her medical experience on her health website (June 2010). Paltrow’s vitamin D levels were tested by doctors in New York, following a “pretty severe” bone fracture and they “turned out to be the lowest they had ever seen.”[viii]

    Vegans can’t get B12 naturally and they would need to eat 2.25 kilograms of (raw sunshine grown) mushrooms in a fat delivery mechanism (e.g. vegetable oil) to get the ‘adequate intake’ for vitamin D and an unusual food like oriental dried radishes to get their calcium – and to repeat this daily. For completeness, the five vegan foods would be 2.25 kilograms of mushrooms, 175 grams of porridge oats, 25 grams of sunflower seeds, 100 grams of oriental dried radishes and 300 grams of spinach (in more vegetable oil) and a vitamin B12 supplement. Without the calories in the vegetable oil, the vegan basket adds up to 1,644 calories – the highest of all three sample ways of getting our nutritional requirement.

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    It takes about five large eggs to reach the RDA (per USDA) on vitamin D. I can eat up to seven or eight in a day on some occasions however.

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    Vitamin D from food is irrelevant if you spend any time outside, unless you are in a high latitude in winter. I would suggest dropping the vitamin D requirement and focusing on nutrients you can't get directly from the sun.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

    My Primal Journal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    Vitamin D from food is irrelevant if you spend any time outside, unless you are in a high latitude in winter. I would suggest dropping the vitamin D requirement and focusing on nutrients you can't get directly from the sun.
    What other nutrients come directly from the sun than vitamin D?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    Vitamin D from food is irrelevant if you spend any time outside, unless you are in a high latitude in winter. I would suggest dropping the vitamin D requirement and focusing on nutrients you can't get directly from the sun.
    Not us all of us have the luxury of living in a place like Arizona, it's never sunny in Ireland! Haha. I need all the vitamin D I can get

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukey View Post
    Not us all of us have the luxury of living in a place like Arizona, it's never sunny in Ireland! Haha. I need all the vitamin D I can get
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drumroll View Post
    What other nutrients come directly from the sun than vitamin D?
    None, AFAIK.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

    My Primal Journal

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