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Can you meet all your RDAs with food?

by (788)
Updated 4 minutes ago
Created April 02, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Possible Duplicate:
Can food give us all the nutrients we need?

This is part question and part sharing of a great webpage.

I have been researching the vitamin and mineral content of food. I came across this website:

http://nourishedkitchen.com/best-sources-vitamins-minerals/

It gives some great info on the best sources of vitamins and minerals in both animal and plant foods.

I am not inherently against supplementation but Id rather get all of my nutritional needs from my food and not have to worry about it. In addition, as with anything man-made, I don't believe we know the full effects of supplementing or how effective it is.

So, can you get all your nutritional needs just from food? I am happy to eat offal, shellfish, or anything "out there". Can it be done?

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110 · April 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I don't do offal, but I try to eat fish at least 1 time/week. Beef is a fairly common dinner meat for me. Kimchi is good. I don't really have any profoundly useful secrets except for the broccoli soup, and the well-sourced eggs, perhaps some steamed sweet potatoes. . . so I think it's doable, but yes, would certainly be tough at lower calorie ranges, so I feel your frustration Sara.

03525a7d89c96efe387b86be91fee9a5
110 · April 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM

the eggs I eat come from a "beyond organic" farm where previous eggs have tested at over 30 times the rda of folate (the chicken eat a lot of bugs/larvae- like they'd normally want to- a sharp contrast to "vegetarian"-fed chickens). . . and i imagine these foods are richly packed with other untested vitamins. I imagine your backyard spinach has got a lot more K,C going on than your grocery store (even organic) spinach

03525a7d89c96efe387b86be91fee9a5
110 · April 03, 2012 at 12:42 PM

@Denis. . . you just try to make sure you get what he suggests supplementing through your diet? Just a little unclear because the link took me to a list of suppelements. The big thing that brings me into range most days is a serving of "cheese dip" soup. . . coconut milk, and 3lbs of broccoli/spinach with salt and maybe some parmesan cheese dusted over, cooked in a pressure cooker and blended together. I strive for a cup/day. (If I have some bone broth, I toss that in too. If you're sourcing your products well, you're probably getting a lot more nutrients than you realize. . . for example

45c9355413cc7ecfd2099c95d3d30e63
65 · April 03, 2012 at 2:22 AM

Travis - what supplements in particular gave you problems?

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7275 · April 02, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I easily get my RDAs when I get up to 2000kcal or 2100kcal, but I prefer to be closer to 1700kcal or so, and then I'm "deficient". I find it strange that my ability to reach the RDAs is so highly correlated with how much food I eat, and so uncorrelated with how healthy or nutritious I expect a food to be. It makes me really not trust the database values, especially for higher quality food, like grassfed beef, organic, local, in-season produce, etc.

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6229 · April 02, 2012 at 8:57 PM

The better question is that does the RDA give you your optimum health? It supposed to keep you from dying or being severely ill - and I want better than that! For my family and I, I can say the RDA is far below optimum on most vitamins/minerals.

Medium avatar
39841 · April 02, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I'm moving more and more toward this viewpoint. Supplements generally cause more harm than good in my experience over the last few years.

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788 · April 02, 2012 at 6:26 PM

I use PHD at http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?page_id=1066 for my guideline. What does your normal diet consist of? How do you get the RDAs? Offal, Seafood, Shellfish, Eggs, Caviar, Fruit, etc?

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc
788 · April 02, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I do the same. I am honestly less concerned with the FDA and more so with increased supplementation with a lot of knowledgeable Paleo bloggers. I am looking over their recommendations and looking for ways to get them through food.

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610 · April 02, 2012 at 4:46 PM

That might be true, but there is a difference in food then and food now. It's highly likely that you got more nutrition from food then because of the agressive way we are using the earth nowadays, and are depleting it from minerals and vitamins. So you might get less nutrition from it then say 50 or 100 years ago. Preparing it right can save a lot of nutrition, and eating a lot of vegetables will also help.

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788 · April 02, 2012 at 3:51 PM

True enough. Let's take the PHD recommendations: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?page_id=1066. I am not worried about dying :). I, like many other paleo enthusiasts I'd wager, want to be "optimal" with my health. While I'm certain I can live without getting the most out of each vitamin and mineral, I want to try in order to have the best life possible.

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6 Answers

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f
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4625 · April 02, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Health is not found in a pill

And it can upset the synergy of your natural food intake- "Eat real food and prosper"

Medium avatar
39841 · April 02, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I'm moving more and more toward this viewpoint. Supplements generally cause more harm than good in my experience over the last few years.

45c9355413cc7ecfd2099c95d3d30e63
65 · April 03, 2012 at 2:22 AM

Travis - what supplements in particular gave you problems?

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f
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2531 · April 02, 2012 at 2:54 PM

i'd think so. or we'd die. no, kidding aside -- the RDAs issues by the government are based on science that we know to be flawed for a number of reasons, as well as on political issues. i think it's highly unlikey that the requirements, as they currently stand, are the end-all-be-all.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc
788 · April 02, 2012 at 3:51 PM

True enough. Let's take the PHD recommendations: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?page_id=1066. I am not worried about dying :). I, like many other paleo enthusiasts I'd wager, want to be "optimal" with my health. While I'm certain I can live without getting the most out of each vitamin and mineral, I want to try in order to have the best life possible.

03525a7d89c96efe387b86be91fee9a5
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110 · April 02, 2012 at 6:23 PM

I did cronometer for a week just to check. . . on 2000 cal/day fairly compliant paleo diet, I kick the RDA's rear in all the B vits (except for B1). I'm a hair low on calcium (90%, I do consume minimal dairy, and I'm not concerned about calcium intake), low on iron (75%, but I have high iron absorption and don't care about this), low on magnesium (75%, I supplement to bring it up), and low on potassium (which may or may not matter as I don't have a lot of sodium and the ratio may be more important). Oh and I think I always come up low on D3 too, but that's a supplementer.

So yes, I think you can get all your vits from food, if you buy the RDA (which has some problems).

Cronometer will let you reset the target values from the default RDA, which is lovely, however, I'm not really sure what I should be going for anyways, so if you have an idea, let me know.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc
788 · April 02, 2012 at 6:26 PM

I use PHD at http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?page_id=1066 for my guideline. What does your normal diet consist of? How do you get the RDAs? Offal, Seafood, Shellfish, Eggs, Caviar, Fruit, etc?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242
7275 · April 02, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I easily get my RDAs when I get up to 2000kcal or 2100kcal, but I prefer to be closer to 1700kcal or so, and then I'm "deficient". I find it strange that my ability to reach the RDAs is so highly correlated with how much food I eat, and so uncorrelated with how healthy or nutritious I expect a food to be. It makes me really not trust the database values, especially for higher quality food, like grassfed beef, organic, local, in-season produce, etc.

03525a7d89c96efe387b86be91fee9a5
110 · April 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I don't do offal, but I try to eat fish at least 1 time/week. Beef is a fairly common dinner meat for me. Kimchi is good. I don't really have any profoundly useful secrets except for the broccoli soup, and the well-sourced eggs, perhaps some steamed sweet potatoes. . . so I think it's doable, but yes, would certainly be tough at lower calorie ranges, so I feel your frustration Sara.

03525a7d89c96efe387b86be91fee9a5
110 · April 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM

the eggs I eat come from a "beyond organic" farm where previous eggs have tested at over 30 times the rda of folate (the chicken eat a lot of bugs/larvae- like they'd normally want to- a sharp contrast to "vegetarian"-fed chickens). . . and i imagine these foods are richly packed with other untested vitamins. I imagine your backyard spinach has got a lot more K,C going on than your grocery store (even organic) spinach

03525a7d89c96efe387b86be91fee9a5
110 · April 03, 2012 at 12:42 PM

@Denis. . . you just try to make sure you get what he suggests supplementing through your diet? Just a little unclear because the link took me to a list of suppelements. The big thing that brings me into range most days is a serving of "cheese dip" soup. . . coconut milk, and 3lbs of broccoli/spinach with salt and maybe some parmesan cheese dusted over, cooked in a pressure cooker and blended together. I strive for a cup/day. (If I have some bone broth, I toss that in too. If you're sourcing your products well, you're probably getting a lot more nutrients than you realize. . . for example

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992
1
4292 · April 02, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Can you meet all the needs as defined by the government/some study? Maybe, maybe not. But I find it hard to believe that a basically healthy human being can't maintain sufficient levels of nutrients from just food, if you define "sufficient levels" as "enough to maintain healthy mental and physical function." We definitely survived and thrived for ages before anyone invented supplements.

7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145
610 · April 02, 2012 at 4:46 PM

That might be true, but there is a difference in food then and food now. It's highly likely that you got more nutrition from food then because of the agressive way we are using the earth nowadays, and are depleting it from minerals and vitamins. So you might get less nutrition from it then say 50 or 100 years ago. Preparing it right can save a lot of nutrition, and eating a lot of vegetables will also help.

2a0f1afde303eadc422d015fc22f7512
0
1118 · April 02, 2012 at 5:53 PM

My hope is that your question is somewhat irrelevant since the FDA has everything so backwards. I strive for natural whole foods and variety including food type and color.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc
788 · April 02, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I do the same. I am honestly less concerned with the FDA and more so with increased supplementation with a lot of knowledgeable Paleo bloggers. I am looking over their recommendations and looking for ways to get them through food.

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