I'm a person who doesn't need much energy (maybe even 1500 calories is too much), this means that every calorie I consume is very precious.I've noticed that it's incredibly difficult to meet 100% of RDI without consuming too many calories (2000+).Every article I read about nutrient X rich foods, I find something weird like "this food is very rich in that nutrient" (but it actually contains only 3-15% of RDI per 100g), am I supposed to eat a kilogram of certain food just to get enough of 1 nutrient?For example, most articles on the internet say how broccoli are rich in calcium but 100g meets only 3-5% of RDI (why is there so much misinformation regarding nutrition?).When all of this is considered, does one even need to meet 100% of RDI every day?
I think non-fat plain yogurt has 45% of the RDA for calcium, or you could get 100% from three glasses of milk. I have found magnesium to be a challenge so I supplement magnesium. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
If you start the day with a fortified American breakfast cereal, you can pick up a lot of vitamins and some minerals in the morning depending on the brand, and the calcium in the milk; though in my opinion some of the cereals are a little too rich in iron (100%), which depending on what else you eat that day that has iron one can end up with a potentially excessive iron load over time (for men and postmenopausal women). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer/
Choline can be a bit of a challenge, three eggs will give you around 440mg (147 to 115 per egg). The adequate intake for men is 550mg in the U.S. There is no RDA for choline yet, just a recommendation for an adequate intake. I tend to forget about choline and I have to remind myself to think about it, but choline is one of those nutrients that I recommend people talk to their doctor before they take a supplement (see potential issue with TMAO). Cleveland Heart Lab. http://www.clevelandheartlab.com/blog-category/tmao/
I'm sure I don't get the required nutrients every single day, but at least I try to give it some serious attention, and then I don't worry about it excessively.
P.S. I think people can benefit from researching vitamin D and A on their own. Some people pick up Vitamin D well from the sun, and some don't. . I think there is a role for preformed "real" vitamin A in the diet (occasional calf liver, etc.). As far as preformed vitamin A supplements, it is wise to discuss it with a doctor before supplementing. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
Of potential interest to diabetics, "pre-diabetics" and their physicians. Vitamin A. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623591/
This page here contains a lot of information in one place. https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx
It is realistic to get all the nutrients you need by consuming foods without fortification and supplements.
In general (not as a strict rule), mineral and vitamin needs increase with the calories you spend, which mainly increase with physical activity. If you spend 5,000 Calories/day, you will likely need more vitamins/minerals than if you spend 1,500.
There are different criteria for mineral/vitamin requirements:
- US: Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), which meet the needs of 50% of the individuals in each sex and age group (probably most appropriate for someone who needs ~2,000 Calories/day).
- US: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), which meet the needs of nearly all (97.5%) individuals (including heavy physical workers and athletes)
- UK: Reference Nutrient Intakes, defined the same way as the US RDA
- US (by FDA) Daily Value (DV), which is similar to RDA, but with even higher recommendations.
When people discuss about mineral/vitamin requirements, they usually refer to the US RDA values, but they are several reasons to believe those amounts are significantly higher than what an average adult needs, for example:
- For potassium, they were not sure, so they did not call it RDA, but Adequate Intake (AI): previously it was 4.7 g/day and recently they lowered it to 3.4 g/day.
- For calcium, in the US, the RDA is 1,000 mg/day, while in the UK, the RNI is 700 mg/day.
- For vitamin C, the RDA is 75 mg/day, EAR is 65 mg/day and NRI is 40 mg/day.
- For folate, the RDA is 400 µg/day, EAR is 320 µg/day and NRI is 200 µg/day.
Nutrient requirements refer to what you need every day in average, so if you get more one day you need less the next day.