Monday, August 9, 2010

Missing nutrients

When I first heard of the primal diet I was very skeptical.  I  heard all of the public service announcements that whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet so I was weary of cutting them out completely.  Before I could commit to this way of eating I needed to know what I would be missing.

According the main nutrients that corn, oats, rice, and wheat provide are fiber, protein, vitamin A, calcium and iron.  That is pretty much it.  Honestly I thought it would be something that was unique to grains since they are the foundation of the USDA recommended diet.   I  decided to give the primal diet a try and see how I felt.  I have never felt better!

Recently I decided to compare my pre-primal diet with my primal diet.  On the average pre-primal day I would eat:
     breakfast - cereal with milk and orange juice
     lunch - turkey sandwich with chips and an apple
     dinner - spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread
This meal plan provides 59% of the RDA of fiber, 123% protein, 78% calcium, 100% iron, and 84% vitamin A.

Now I eat:
     breakfast - 2 eggs, sauteed veggies, and a peach
     snack - greek yogurt with berries and walnuts
     lunch - a HUGE salad, leftover chicken, and cantaloupe
     dinner - stuffed zucchini and a side salad
     dessert - banana with almond butter
This meal plan is approximately the same number of calories as the previous diet but provides 103% of the RDA of fiber 202% protein, 117% calcium, 81% iron, and 285% vitamin A.  On this particular day I was a bit short on iron but that is it!  All the other nutrients were well above the RDA!

Here is an article that compares the nutrient level of the different food groups.  I think removing breads and pasta and replacing them with fruits and veggies is the way to go!

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