Paleo nutrient analysis – full day

March 30th, 2011  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  5 Comments

Follow up on yesterday’s partial nutrient analysis of a Paleo-type diet. Here’s how I rounded out the day.

Calories are a little low because I ate at a restaurant (raw vegan, even! I overshot my protein target even without protein at one meal) and I don’t think I quite accounted properly for the meal, but it’s close enough. I got the kale in there, anyway…

1525 calories, 22% carbs, 46% fat, 32% protein

Protein – 121 g (I’m currently around 118 lb with body fat % around 17%, so that’s about 1 g/lb of bodyweight – right on the money for a leaner athletic woman)

Still around 5 g of omega-3 fatty acids; 10 g of omega-6. I could do better with the ratio there.

Now the fun part! Here are the vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin A – 701% of RDA (again, largely in the more biologically active form of animal-derived retinols)
Vitamin C – 583%
Vitamin D – 2%
Vitamin E – 51%
Vitamin K – 856%!!!!
Thiamin – 60%
Riboflavin – 128%
Niacin – 155%
Vitamin B6 – 126%
Folate – 175% (again, this is food folate, not an additive)
Vitamin B12 – 176%
Pantothenic Acid – 72%

Calcium – 75%
Magnesium – 113%Iron – 144%
Potassium – 91%
Sodium – 21% (remember we want sodium to be relatively lower compared to potassium)
Phosphorus – 108%
Zinc – 52%
Copper – 79%
Manganese – 198%
Selenium – 171%

Again, if you’re curious to see how your eats stack up, try tracking your intake using, which has a very robust data analysis including, probably, nutrients you’ve never heard of (campesterol? WTF?). Before you proclaim the superiority or inferiority of any given diet, throw it up on the wall, nail some numbers into it, and see if it sticks.

Ask yourself: How is this eating method working for you?

  • What is the quality of your intake?
  • How do you feel when you consume your diet?
  • How do you perform athletically?
  • How does your body run? How’s your bloodwork?
  • Is your body fat in a healthy range? Are you muscular and strong? (Or working on it?)
  • Where did this food come from? How many steps did it take to get to you?

This goes way beyond calories and macronutrients — it’s an issue of nutrient quality and availability. As Mat Lalonde has been heard to quip, you can make a “macronutrient balanced” and “calorically appropriate” meal of soy meat, fructose, and corn oil… but would you want to?


  1. Amy Blades says:

    March 30th, 2011at 8:58 am(#)

    I’ve done an RDA analysis of my paleo-ish eating before and come up with the same “deficiencies” as you: VitD and calcium.

    I supplement Vit D year-round and try to get sun exposure as much as possible. I do 2000IU a day.

    As for the calcium, I’ve felt pretty confident that the RDA is actually higher than necessary. From what I’ve read of the mineral-leaching properties of grains and dairy, once you cut those out you are actually going to retain a much higher percentage of the minerals (calcium included) that you intake.

    That said, I’m still going to start supplementing additional calcium and possibly iron because I have just found out I’m expecting. *happy dance*

    Would love to see you do some articles on calcium, dairy, bone health, and other related topics some time.

  2. Ginger Baker says:

    March 31st, 2011at 6:59 am(#)

    Yay for the raw vegan restaurant! :-) I am definitely not vegan (nor have I ever been), but I did go raw for a period of several months and loved it. (I want to get to paleo with high raw now, that’s my plan.) There are some raw restaurants here that are just soooooo yummy. Plus, I like knowing that my food has no “junk” in it, and at those places you can be quite assured lol. Please tell me you had something chocolate there!

  3. Mistress Krista says:

    March 31st, 2011at 8:26 am(#)

    @Ginger: Weirdly I usually find lacinato kale more satisfying than chocolate these days, and I usually stay away from sugar, “raw” or not. The only chocolate that does not disappoint me is from these guys: I think they use a higher proportion of cocoa butter, whereas other manufacturers tend to sneak lower-grade emulsifiers in there. Their hemp chocolate is particularly awesome; it has a kind of “dirty” undertone that I love in conjunction with the dark chocolate notes.

    I interviewed Tonya Kay once (the raw vegan danger artist) and she made a great point: “raw vegan” is more like a percentage than a label. You can easily get, say, a certain % of your diet from raw fruit/veg. No reason you couldn’t do something like (just pulling these %s out of my butt) 40% raw fruit/veg, 30-40% cooked fruit/veg, and make up the rest with meat/fish/seafood/eggs/any other dead critter.

    The things I love about raw vegan cuisine are the culinary creativity and the freshness. Raw vegan chefs let the ingredients shine, they’re usually not afraid of fat, and they’re incredibly inventive. I’ve never had anything from a raw vegan restaurant that wasn’t utterly delicious. (I’m sure sucky raw vegan food is out there, I just haven’t found it. :))

  4. Ginger Baker says:

    March 31st, 2011at 9:07 am(#)

    I agree with every point you made on the raw vegan restaurants!! I’ve brought some VERY traditional meat-and-potatoes guys there and not once disappointed them.

    Absolutely agreed on the raw as percentage point. I’m not (nor ever been) someone for whom food is religion. I think my aim for now (with spring and summer coming along) is to go all-raw plus meat/fish/eggs for a while as a “reset”, since I find it super easy to slip back into all-cooked-all-the-time. Plus, eating out is simple this way, with no worries of grains or sugar or whatnot – and I’m also not tempted to add any of my own when cooking. To not have rice or bread (or potatoes…or candy!!) is super easy when I’m eating raw…but much more of a mental struggle when I’m not!

    I’m very fond of Gnosis Chocolate. It’s raw, made with agave as I recall, super yummy, and expensive (which translates as “I don’t buy it often”). I always know it’s completely dairy-free (the benefit of buying vegan pre-made food) and it’s better than Godiva (seriously). At least, it was a few years back – I was a bit disappointed the last time I bought some, so I may have to explore some of my other raw chocolate options here. Luckily, being in NYC, I have many many choices there!

  5. Roland says:

    April 4th, 2011at 4:39 pm(#)

    I love that you’re doing this work for me. I just have the confidence that my eats are more densely nutritious than a diet that has a lot of breads and other extras. I don’t have the patience to check myself to that level.

    Seven years ago, I read Berardi’s Defeating Dietary Displacement article, and it stuck with me all this time. For the past 4-5 years, I’ve tended to place things like quinoa and brown rice in the same bucket as the apple pie he was eating at that coffee house. All these foods stand in the way of getting more of what my body really needs to be at it’s best. I might still eat them, but now a treat is a treat, whether it’s dessert or a pizza crust.



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