Overall, I think we all feel that eating paleo is healthy and highly nutritious. But since paleo is not an exact diet and each of us will choose different foods according to preferences and availablity, I think it is only fair to admit that it is possible to be paleo but still be lacking in some vitamins and minerals. Also, none of us are living 100% paleo lifestyles exactly as a caveman once did. So my question is are there any specific nutrient intakes that paleos might want to keep an extra eye on? I don't really want to argue about exact levels needed for every single person or how perfect the RDA are or are not, but it seems clear to me that for many nutrients, it would be nearly impossible to eat paleo and not get enough of them, like vitamin A and the B vitamins.
But at least for me, there are a also few that I can easily be low on if I happen to select foods that day or that week that don't specifically have that nutrient. For me, these nutrients are magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin D. I don't worry about D because I live in a sunny clime and go in the sun daily, but this could be a problem for those who don't. I also completely ignore the RDAs for carbohydrates and grains on the basis that those are just plain stupid. But what about the other nutrients? Do others find they tend to have lower intake of these same nutrients or do they find they might be low on different ones? Is it just my food choices or is this more of a general paleo trend? (Of course, many of these are probably low in the SAD diet as well but lets hope we can do better than SAD! ;-)
asked byEva (20807)
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on August 16, 2010
at 03:41 AM
As for calcium, I think the present recommendations are for those bone leaching, low fat, irritated gut, vitamin D and K2 deficient heavy dairy SAD eaters.
No matter how high an amount of calcium someone seems to get in their diet when eating a SAD, it seems that it's still missing so it's no wonder the USDA puts the RDA so high. Maybe we'll start to understand when we'll get calcium getting out of our ears while still having bone problems.
Some will argue that people in the paleolithic got more calcium by eating cartilage and small bones, but how much Calcium can we really expect to get from eating bones when they are excreted in the same state as they came in. I prefer focusing on getting a high amount of all the fat soluble vitamins, especially K2 (which is normally produced by a healthy gut flora, but mine isn't right now) as an insurance policy that my bones get all the calcium they need.
As for the other nutrients, I can't really comment because my knowledge is not sufficient, but I'm curious to learn the opinions of others.
To me the general opinion that soils are depleted as the reason why we would need supplemental magnesium seems weak. Maybe the reason why there is so little magnesium in natural food is because we don't need a lot, just like sodium. Look at the RDA for sodium and you'll understand why the RDA is often just horse crap. We just don't need more sodium than what's in the food, and we don't get less sodium in a 100% natural diet because the soils are depleted, but because the RDA is skewed to accommodate people who won't leave the salt shaker alone. Maybe the soils are depleted, but we are able to eat a variety of vegetables so large now that caveman would be jealous. The soils might have been rich, but the food choices where very limited most of the time.