Hi, my question is: does a limited diet furnish adequate nutrition to sustain life and-perhaps- to enable one to thrive? A proposed diet is as follows:
Cheese(hard cheese preferably) eggs(free-range) butter(pastured/cultured) liver(or other organ meat; if so what kind?) possibly gelatin...
?: would this diet be adequate? If not why and what additions should be made(or subtractions) for a complete nutritional profile?
You could plug different variations into FitDay or Cron-o-meter to see if you can find something that will work. My inclination is to say no, because even if you find a perfect mix for a single day diet, if you repeat it endlessly, you may be missing micronutrients of phytochemicals that are not yet known to be important. In addition when using the same foods every day, you are more likely to be exposed to any toxins or anti-nutrients. Having a diverse diet spreads the risk.
Agree with the suggestion of typing everything in to FitDay. I did this faithfully for about 2 weeks, and was surprised to find that my diet was at the 35-45% of RDA mark on several nutrients (magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, fiber, a couple of others). I thought I was eating a "nutrient-dense" diet but was missing several things.
I don't think that the US RDA is necessarily gospel, but I didn't want to be that far off. Also FitDay's nutritional content might be off, for example I eat lots of grass-fed and pastured meat and eggs, which I suspect has more nutritional value than your typical supermarket fare.
I don't want to take handfuls of supplements every day, so I am looking for ways to get these nutrients into my diet another way. Grains and some grain by-products (like wheat bran and oat bran) have some of these, but I don't want to eat any of that (maybe a little bit of oatmeal). These nutrients are mostly minerals and available primarily in plants and nuts. So I have been trying to incorporate more of that into my diet. It is possible (easy in fact) to do this while remaining fairly low carb, for example leafy greens and almonds are good sources.
A lot of the crap food they sell in the supermarket (breakfast cereal, crackers, etc) is in fact fortified with some of these nutrients. I don't think the nutrients are necessarily very "bioavailable", but if you cut out all of those foods, you will cut out a source of these nutrients.
The same is true of iodized salt or example, the reason they added iodine to salt to begin with was to address chronic lack of iodine in the population. If you avoid iodized salt, then you should find another source of iodine (i.e. seaweed).
The diet you outline (cheese, eggs, liver, butter) is probably even more lacking in nutrients than my diet. Initially this might not bother you, but over a longer period (say a few months), I think it will. I think that many of the complaints that people have on the Paleo diet are due to what is essentially malnutrition -- lacking essential nutrients.