A discussion in another thread (http://paleohacks.com/questions/117823/eating-the-same-things-in-order-to-not-have-to-keep-track) got me to thinking:
Supposing a group of us decided to perform an experiment whereby we attempt to concoct a paleo/primal/ancestral quotidian diet (that is, literally eating the same food every day) that provides 100% or better of every micronutrient we can reasonably track, while using only food (no supplements), and keeping carbohydrates within a range of X to X. The diet can only include non-fortified whole foods, which likely makes it paleo, not primal, unless one can access raw dairy.
Software tracking of food would absolutely be required, all participants using the same software and creating the same reports. Biomarkers would have to be tracked (weight, blood pressure, labs before and after and perhaps during).
Is there any value to such a project? What must n = to make the result interesting, and for how long? I think it might be interesting for edutainment purposes, if nothing else, as all those eating such a diet report their experiences, perhaps on a blog or something. I think I'm aiming a little higher here with this idea than a Morgan Spurlock or Fat Head stunt, but not too high--I'm no scientist either.
Surely there are lots of factors, variables, and complications I'm not considering here that makes this a dumb idea. What are they? Would you participate in a challenge like this, eating exactly the same foods every day for, say, 30 days? I'm a foodie--this would be crazy-making for me. I think the only way I could survive the month would be as part of a motivated team.
It could lead to some weirdness...I once tried to make a soup that supplied 30% of all trackable nutrients in each serving. I don't recall what all was in it, other than it was low carb, contained beef, and it included enough canned oysters (blech) so every serving provided ~1/3 of an oyster (for zinc). It was weird tasting soup.
asked byChristopher_Gagnon (6117)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on May 08, 2012
at 01:59 PM
N>=30 for each group for statistical purposes. I like Spindrift's suggestion for the second group and a control group would help provide the best meaningful statistics for the experiment.
Other complicating factors are pre-existing medical conditions. Having the participants similar will yield the most meaningful results. Ideally, either everyone is diabetic or no one is. Everyone is X amount overweight or no one is.
It sounds like an excellent experiment!
on May 13, 2012
at 12:53 AM
Bone-in canned salmon is a great source of calcium and other nutrients.. . .
on May 08, 2012
at 01:27 PM
I have eaten canned oysters measured out for zinc purposes before... very blech!
Maybe a second group who vary their foods but still get 100% of their micronutrients? And a third who are just there to be the control group, who eat whatever they want, as long as it's paleo and track nutrients only because it's for the experiment? That way you could compare between the groups.
Though... all the tracking required may be a serious obstacle. Maybe just create a set menu, and your volunteers would use that?