10 foods for essentials

by (0) Updated August 20, 2014 at 8:28 PM Created June 24, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Is it possible to stick to 10 foods only and get all of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals etc from that? And in that case - which foods?

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10 Replies

26354 · June 24, 2014 at 1:02 PM

While I think this is counter-productive, for some reason I want to play along. So here's my list (in no particular order). Note: This assumes you do not need some AIP or anything like that.

  1. Cow: all cuts of beef, including liver and kidney.
  2. Potatoes: Sweet, Purple, or white, I don't care, solid nutrient dense food
  3. Spinach: Kale if you prefer, but Spinach is my #1 green
  4. Eggs: Nothing more needed to be said here.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Needed to flavor greens and make bone broth out of the cow bones
  6. Olive Oil: see above, also great for rendering and cooking
  7. Salt and Pepper: Yeah I am cheating, you picked the arbitrary number, not me.
  8. Sardines: Originally had Salmon, but changed my mind. While I prefer Salmon, the Vitamin D, E, the Calcium and Selenium might be missing from my other choices. I think Shrimp should be considered too
  9. Blue Berries:
  10. Seaweed

Not a perfect list, but I think that can get you pretty far and allow you to maintain a fairly diverse meal profile. Still, missing a lot of variety for no reason.

0 · June 25, 2014 at 8:01 PM

I buy the following nearly every week, to restock the larder:

1. onions (any kind)

2. garlic (frozen is great)

3. sweet potatoes or squash

4. broccoli or kale

5. cod or maquerel

6. eggs

7. chicken or any marked down meat, including offals

8. coconut milk

9. turmeric or other spices/herbs

10. olive oil or coconut oil

8 to 10 I actually buy once a month or so, when they are marked down, and in bulk. However I use them every day, and with the exception of coconut milk, I would find it difficult to cook without them!

977 · June 25, 2014 at 3:11 PM


- insect larvae

- roots and tubers

- tropical, or tropical originated (cucurbita), fruit

- greens

That is the only diet that can really keep you in balance with Mg, Ca and P, while providing lots of zinc. You will notice that it is a chimp, or pre-paleo, diet. I would still supplement with

- seafood and/or seaweed for iodine and selenium. Seafood preferred due to Omega 3, but it is a supplement (2 cans of sardines a week or so)

- olive oil or lard. Larvae give you 5,000 Kcal/kg, but they still do not have enough fat.

- bone broth or gelatin for glycine. Larvae themselves are balanced, but all vegetable proteins are deficient.

40692 · June 25, 2014 at 1:17 AM

Oh, so we're going to cheat and use vague categories, eh? I'll bite then…

  1. Beef & Pork. Not really for the nutrition, but these are the tastiest! Beef does have a good amount of zinc. Beef liver is great for vitamin A and copper. Pork… vitamin B1, in addition to vitamin BACON!
  2. Eggs. Across the board nutrition.
  3. Fish & Seafood. Minerals and omega-3 fats.
  4. Greens. Requisite veggies! Phytonutrients!
  5. Roots and Tubers. More veggies, with some added calories!
  6. Berries. Phytonutrients!
  7. Olive oil & butter. The tastiest fats, loads of MUFAs.

That's it for paleo categories… personally I do dairy, rice an corn as well.

225 · June 24, 2014 at 11:19 PM

You only need one food...bananas. 30 a day, or so I'm told.


977 · June 24, 2014 at 9:43 PM

One of the essentials has to be sweet potato or butternut squash, due to the combination of beta carotene, potassium and magnesium. I would list kiwifruit for vitamin C.

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568 · June 24, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Can't help myself... Here's a roughly 2300 calorie daily meal plan I threw together in 5 minutes that you could live on for the rest of your life getting plenty of nutrients. You'd be strong as an ox and perfectly healthy.

No offal, nothing weird, just simple CHEAP food everyone's familiar with.

  1. Bananas: 4 medium
  2. Spinach: 6 cups (a big plate)
  3. Seaweed: 2 ounces
  4. Salted almonds: 3 ounces
  5. 80/20 Ground Beef: 10 ounces
  6. Braised Pork Chops: 5 ounces
  7. Canned Sardines (in water): 5 ounces

Can someone best me and put together a list of just 4 or 5 items?

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568 · June 24, 2014 at 8:28 PM

This isn't a tall order guys. It seems silly but it's something I've thought about too. I'd say you could get everything you need from a very narrow list, and there must be 50 different narrow combos. It would be optimal to cycle through different combos but unnecessary.

Here's an arbitrary example:

  1. Beef (could even just stick to ground beef if you don't like offal - you'd still get by just fine but again not optimal unless you eat nose to tail)
  2. potatoes (preferably sweet potato if liver not eaten but just any old potato either way will do)
  3. Sardines (bone in preferably but again, not necessary if you get ratios right of other things - like loads of spinach, almond, and seaweed for Calcium)
  4. Almonds (generally well-rounded plus gets you vitamin E in quantities beyond necessity)
  5. Olive Oil (completely unnecessary in this stack but it will help keep life worth living)
  6. Spinach (nuff said)
  7. Seaweed (iodine and other trace goodies for icing on the nutritional cake)
  8. Mushrooms (they are fun to eat and nutritious that's all)

You could take one or two items off that list and still be okay, or swap some out for other things. You could use bananas instead of potatoes for instance.

I agree it's silly in practice but it makes for an interesting thought experiment. Especially if you're into space colonizatino and stuff.

11011 · June 24, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Well it was hard to narrow everything down to just 10, but I think I've done it. I think you will get most of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients from the following foods:

  1. Meat (red meat, poultry, fish, organs).
  2. Vegetables (tubers, greens, Allium and Cruciferous families).
  3. Fruits (I love ripe white pineapple, unfortunately I've only seen it for sale in Hawaii).
  4. Nuts (omg, so many to choose from).
  5. Seeds (whole grains, beans).
  6. Dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt from cows, goats and, sheep?).
  7. Eggs (fish eggs and bird eggs).
  8. Spices (salt, pepper, turmeric, oregano, etc).
  9. Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, etc).
  10. Sweets (maybe not paleo, but occasionally indulging definitely can be, let bee spit (honey) fulfill your paleo sweet tooth).

So just to be clear, pick one food from each category per day / per week at least and then rotate what's in season or what tastes good to you.

16858 · June 24, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Why would you want to stick to just an arbitrary list of foods when so much more is available out there?

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