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Diet consisting of only a few types of foods

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  1. Dec 18, 2016 #1
    Thinking of starting keto, and thought it would be fun to try and live off of coconut milk, low carbohydrate bread, butter, and some kind of meat or fish for dinner.

    Provided I take a multivitamin, along with calcium and magnesium pills, would this diet be as healthy as any other? Could I be missing some fats?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2016 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah it could be fun. I'm sure your medical professional would love the additional revenue.
    You have bad assumptions. (sorry about the formatting)

    1. You do not need diversity in your diet. Because people have been forced to subsist in the past for months on deficient diets.
    2. Supplements will make up for deficiencies.
    3. You have all your bases covered - when, in fact, you will be missing a lot more than fats.


    #1. You need ~120+ nutrients. For some you have an existing store in your body, others not.

    A. There are anti-nutrients - things like phytate in some foods that prevent the uptake of required nutrients
    B. The balance of nutrients is hard to get correct eating few foods. For example, coconut milk
    is low in folate, has no vitamin A, and so on.
    https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3663?n1={Qv=1}&fgcd=&man=&lfacet=&count=&max=&sort=&qlookup=&offset=&format=Full&new=&measureby=&Qv=1
    combine that with the fact you're eating zero veggies, so you have other problems

    #2 Without going into gross detail, supplements with Vitamin C in them actually restrict copper uptake for example. This happens with other supplements.
    The 'vitamin paradox' is also at work here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4549666/ In the article 'long term' is more than one month, I think.

    #3 Unless you are eating salmon frequently or maybe chugging flaxseed oil, you are missing several fatty acids in your diet: ALA, EPA, and DHA among them.
    Other things like retinols (lycopene and lutein) seem also to be missing - Tomatoes and spinach help each respectively.

    These and a lot of other things you've never heard of, including bacteria, are generally believed by nutrition researchers
    to be required long term to prevent a lot of nasty disease processes. Or disease processes eliminate them from your body. Bad diarrhea and voimiting, for example.
    This only lists the things that a US semi-political process allows into the report, but it is a great reference nonetheless. Your RDA (DRI is the new name) list, sir:
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  4. Dec 18, 2016 #3

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know of any really reliable sources and a random search will very likely bring up any arbitrary result one's looking for. So I'll only write my personal opinion based on experience and TV docus on the issue.

    The pills you mentioned are normally simply useless at its best, and dangerous if they come from questionable producers.
    E.g. people have damaged their kidney functions by drinking too much herbal teas.
    There is no replacement or alternative whatsoever to a diet with many sorts of different foods: variety is the key, not restriction.
    To lose weight (as I assume to be the desired direction) there are two parameters: input and output. Input should only be reduced to a certain extend, e.g. by reducing the amounts (not the numbers) of different foods. Even substitutions with fruits and vegetables heavily depend on the amount of harmful substances like pesticides that come along with it. In addition a complete change usually results in up and down effects. The second parameter is the output. It is often disregarded. Doing sports helps a lot. But depending on the kind of sport, it might result in more muscles, which are heavier than fat and thus might not be adequately measured by scales.

    In my opinion your proposed strategy isn't recommendable.
     
  5. Dec 18, 2016 #4
    Why do you think it is fun to experiment with your health?
     
  6. Dec 18, 2016 #5
    Haha I wouldn't have gone through with this without an expert's approval, which would have been my doctor in three weeks anyways. Thank you for your time!
     
  7. Jan 27, 2017 #6
    Hey gummz, it seems to be fun and healthy, but I would like to suggest you to have a balanced diet. Include in your diet that few foods which will provide your body all the necessary nutrients which is needed. For this you can follow a food guide which is easily available on the Internet and this will help you decide which foods will be best for you.
     
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