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On an optimized, budget-friendly dietary scheme


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I've been tinkering with cronometer and I simulated a vegetarian daily plan with the following targets:

  • Healthy, at least 70% plant-based
  • No supplements needed but ergocalciferol
  • as unexpensive as possible
  • Ω6/Ω3 ratio as low as possible
  • As little food cooking as possible

CR is not a priority because that would entail supplementation. By supplementation we can do just almost everything and of course vegan, which is going to be a successive scheme.


It also depends on our daily needs, but the costs can be normalized to a benchmark, for example 2000 kCals.


I came out with the following scheme, which is just about what I eat. Monetary value= 7 US$


The 'kefir' item is strained, home-made organic kefir, which gives the best quality bang for the buck as far as proteins go+K2

Swiss cheese is needed to reach the B12 RDA


Any tips, suggestions, comments are welcome, it would be fun to compare proposals. Monetary value must be less than 10 US$





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I found that I can go as low as 6 US$ if I eliminate 300 grams of fruit and add 4 tablespoons of cooked black beans and 10 grams of mushrooms

This variation also lowers calories to 2000


It takes some satiety away from the day meal though


Such a scheme, no supplements but D3, would cost about 180 US$ a month, supplementation cost not included, about 10 US$ a month I reckon or less


It sure can be optimized further, if we add supplements, the cost of supplementation should be added

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Considering b12 supplements cost less than a penny a day (OK to take once a week)(https://www.walmart.com/ip/Spring-Valley-Natural-Timed-Release-Vitamin-B12-Tablets-1000mcg-60-count/22027160 ) I'd lose the cheese (and the IGF1 spike and saturated fat that comes with it). I'd probably also replace the bread with a variety of whole grains instead. For immune system support you want daily cruciferous, alliums, and mushrooms. I'd change those nuts to mixed nuts and walnuts. For cost optimization I would add orange/purple sweet potatoes ($2 for 5 lbs) and possibly black rice. A wide variety of beans is also essential, they are easier to cook up than most people think, can be done once a week, and cost next to nothing (pennies per serving). I would also add raw beets which are cheap and very nutrient dense.


Cronometer doesn't assess phytonutrients, to really optimize your diet you want to maximize phenols. I just discovered: http://phenol-explorer.eu/foods

Which may help, you can download their full data set.


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Gordo, there are mushrooms in the scheme, and beans, plus you can eat the orange's peel, rich in hesperidin, plus more polyphenols can be added, I really listened to your suggestions, cabbages are cruciferous and you can add allium, chili, whatever. The bread I used (pumpernickel) is organic and whole grain and very close to whole grain seeds. It is very unexpensive and nourishing. Red potatoes here far more expensive (2-3 times) compared to the prices you cite and not always available. Organic beans here are pretty expensive, although how you say, you can cook them once a week. 100 grams of cooked and drained black beans costs 0.6 US$ here, the cheaper I found. I included 107 grams of them, 10 tbs, and other varities can be used. I increased the mushrooms. I included walnuts and increased sunflowers since they are cheap. I doubled chocolate for zinc.


Total monetary value: 7.6 US$

Main increase in expense is in the spinachs, needed for calcium and other minerals. If kale is found at low prices, then the value may drop to 6.5- 7 us$.

All nutrients are at least 100% RDA but Ergocalciferol and cobalamin.



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This is as low as I could go with a vegan scheme, only supplements needed are B12 and calcium.

this scheme is based upon 160 grams of unexpensive sunflower seeds, ground together with 80 grams of raisins, an exquisite and very dense mix.

The plentiful Ω6 are balanced by 6 tbsp of flaxseed. I can see Michael flinching, but ratio is pretty good, 4 to 1.

I could not go below 2200 calories.

Monetary value: 5.2 US$

Pls note: all my schemes are high in fats. Maybe someone may come out with low-fats, hi carbs schemes.


Very interesting: methionine and leucine, although all foods are plant-based, are pretty high, both at about 200% RDA

Is IGF-1 going to spike? 




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Here is a starch-based, balanced, 2000 kCals vegan scheme. Only supplement theoretically needed is B12.

Monetary value: 6 US$ , hi quality organic cereals mostly. Prices can vary according to places and quantities bought of course.


An interesting remark: Cystein+methionine are not very low after all, as also noticed in previous vegan schemes. If a foolproof (MR+CR) is desired, then probably a targeted approach is needed: (MR+CR) scheme







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