Monday, November 30, 2009

Human Nutrient Needs

What nutrients does a person need per day?
I am not a dietician or indeed sober so don't take this as actual advice. But what does ten minutes googling give as a list of the needed nutrients?
This is item 1 of the list of things to do for a modern version of Stigler's diet. Wikipedia the universal source of all truth (TM) italic has an article on this here.

It gives the RDA for an average 25-year old male (for ones that use IU which appears to be nonsense so I have taken some figures from here and here)
all figures are in µg

param RDA:=
Vitamin_A 900
Vitamin_C 90000
Vitamin_D 5
Vitamin_K 120
Vitamin_B6 1300
Vitamin_E 15000
Biotin 30
Calcium 1000000
Chloride 2300000
Chromium 35
Choline 550000
Copper 900
Cyanocobalamin 2.4
Fluoride 4000
Folate 400
Iodine 150
Iron 8000
Magsium 400000
Mangase 2300
Molybdenum 45
Niacin 16000
Nickel 1000
Pantothenic_acid 5000
Phosphorus 700000
Potassium 4700000
Riboflavin 1300
Selenium 55
Sodium 1500000
Thiamin 1200
Zinc 11000

And the upper limit as

param UL:=
Vitamin_A 3000
Vitamin_C 2000000
Vitamin_D 50
Vitamin_B6 100000
Vitamin_E 1000000
Boron 20000
Calcium 2500000
Chloride 3600000
Choline 3500000
Copper 10000
Fluoride 10000
Folate 1000
Iodine 1100
Iron 45000
Magsium 350000
Mangase 11000
Molybdenum 2000
Niacin 35000
Nickel 1000
Phosphorus 4000000
Selenium 400
Sodium 2300000
Zinc 40000

The figures we are interested in are RDA's which must be met and Tolerable upper intake levels which cannot be exceded.
Macro nutrients are in grams

param Macro:
Waterb 3700
Carbohydrates 130
Proteinc 56
Fiber 38
Linoleic 17
alpha-Linolenic 1.6

Also some nutrients must be minimised Cholesterol, Trans fatty acids, Saturated fatty acids. These will have to be aims of a optimiser for diets.
These are a bit more difficult to deal with so I will ignore them for the moment.
Cholesterol As low as possible
Trans fatty acids As low as possible
Saturated fatty acids As low as possible

Also two types of macro nutrients must be a % of calories.
Added sugar No more than 25% of calories
Fat 20–35% of calories

I am going to guess a 25 year old male needs 2500 calories until I am corrected.
So we have a first approximation of what nutrients people need.

So next up is getting a price and nutrient contents for loads of different foods.


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Android said...

This could be simplified.
-Eat three meals and three snacks a day.
-Cook your own food.
-Restrict roasting and frying.
-Only one snack should be of snack food variety i.e. others should be fruit/veg/dairy origin
-Don't eat so much that you can't move

Analysis of the above for one days food for a 25 year old male is likely to provide the RDA for all nutrients.

As to a cheap diet containing all essential taste and variety an issue? We could live on new potatoes and milk should the need arise :)

Android said...

Also, 2500 kcal is a general estimate which has been recommended to be reduced to 2000kcal for 25 year old males. However, height, weight, BMI and activity level would always be taken into account in accessing nutritional requirements for each individual.