Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The ultimate diet, only 27, 575 calories a day!

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I stumbled across this book review for a book entitled Naked Calories the other day. I was a little shocked to read that the book asserts that the average number of calories a person would need to consume in one day is 27, 575 in order to become sufficient in all 27 micronutrients (I’m also a little curious as to what micronutrients were selected for this analysis as there are more than 27 in our diets). 27, 575!!??? That’s more than ten times the average number of calories a person needs to consume in a day. I’d like to begin by pointing out that the authors of this book have their own line of supplements and the central premise of their book is that we are unable to consume sufficient nutrients through food alone. The author of the review does point this out but not until the end of the review and it seems more like an afterthought than the huge red flag that it should be. I know that when I was in school we analysed our own diets for both macro- and micronutrient content and I was only a teensy bit shy of a couple of micronutrients. I’m not quite sure how the authors of this book reached the conclusion that the diets they assessed (which included the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet) delivered, at most, 56% of RDI requirements. It’s an interesting premise that our diets are so deficient in nutrients. However, as a dietitian I am constantly recommending that people aim to get as many of their nutrients from whole foods as possible. We don’t know for certain that isolated micronutrients (as in supplemental form) provide the same benefits to us as when they are in whole foods. I’d like to read the book so that I can completely debunk it but I have no intention of giving them any of my money in order to be able to do so. I would suggest saving your money, eating a varied diet, and consulting with a health care professional (i.e. your primary health care provider and/or a dietitian) to determine if you should be taking a supplement. Don’t start eating 27, 575 calories a day and don’t start buying supplements that you don’t need.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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