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REQUEST TO GUIDE IN OPTIMIZING NUTRITION


Amar
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Hello all. Newbie here. I have been a vegan for nearly 3 years now. Joined in a fitness forum that advocates calorie restriction for weightloss. Weighed around 91 kgs in January 2022. Maintained a deficit of about 15to20pc from TDEE and a little resistance training and came down to 79kgs (not reached my BMI/bodyfat goal). I could maintain macros at the levels prescribed by that forum however, I realised my nutrition was not optimal.I found deficiencies in intake (around 70 to 80pc) of Calcium , Zinc, a few of the B-Vitamins (except B12 -being supplemented). How do I go about addressing this issue? Is supplementation fine for these? I have gone through the page for supplementation for vegetarians on this forum, but when can I resort to supplementation? I have tried optimizing my diet in many ways but it would be deficient in atleast one nutrient. Plese guide.

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https://www.longecity.org/forum/stacks/stack/122-michaels-tiered-supplement/
 

Read this.  You need to keep track of what you eat using software; one option is the free chronometer app which is simple to use, then supplement only what you require to correct deficiencies.

Zinc and B-vitamins I believe can generally be safely supplemented, but calcium from supplements as compared to getting it from food sources seems create some possible concerns.  I would encourage you to read up on calcium supplements; they have been discussed on these forums.

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Thank you very much for the response. I am on free version of cronometer. Thus found out my intakes were deficient. I have gone through the link you have posted. I am also looking for some vegan diet charts for reference. Facing a little difficulty in using the search option on this forum. I shall read more as you suggested. Thanks once again.

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On 5/23/2022 at 6:41 AM, Amar said:

I found deficiencies in intake (around 70 to 80pc) of Calcium , Zinc, a few of the B-Vitamins (except B12 -being supplemented). How do I go about addressing this issue? Is supplementation fine for these? I have gone through the page for supplementation for vegetarians on this forum, but when can I resort to supplementation? I have tried optimizing my diet in many ways but it would be deficient in at least one nutrient. Please guide.

The best way to boost Ca intake in a vegan diet is Ca-rich mineral water. There is a thread on that, but it is simple, just make a thorough search and see what's the Ca-highest commercial mineral water available in your area and just drink what's necessary to reach the RDI.

10 mg of zinc first thing in the morning is enough, it's important to take it on an empty stomach.

B-complex is very abundant in nutritional yeast, in some brands more than in others, whereas other brands have additional B-vitamins added. Otherwise you can target the single deficient vitamins, like Niacin for example, found in peanuts and mushrooms but also available as a single supplementation.

 

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In addition, your nutritional status may seem good in cronometer, but you may still exhibit some deficiencies. It's necessary to draw blood and check at least iron (above all ferritin), the most important maybe which may give surprises. Also D3 is commonly checked, the limit is only your budget but iron/ferritin is a must. Blood concentrations however may be tricky since they are variable.

I don't know which specific micronutrients the veterans of caloric restriction are checking in blood analyses.

Edited by mccoy
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Thank you for the response.

 

13 hours ago, mccoy said:

The best way to boost Ca intake in a vegan diet is Ca-rich mineral water

I read yesterday on this forum regarding Ca-rich mineral water but it is not available where I stay.  I am able to reach to around 700mg with Fennel seeds, cumin, Basil seeds, curry leaves/ moringa, chia etc that are easily available here. Kale, bok choy etc. are not at all found. Spinach/amaranth leaves are easy to have but i am avoiding due to the fear of oxalates. I am looking into fortified soy milk / supplements mentioned on this forum. 

 

13 hours ago, mccoy said:

Blood concentrations however may be tricky since they are variable.

I have bookmarked your 2018 post of basic blood tests, just a few hours ago. Have you seen any improvements/changes after your 2020 update?

What are the basic blood tests that you recommend?

 

I am a vegan but not into wholefood plant based diet and kind of bothered by lectures that one should get each and every nutrient from food (which I am unable to, restricting calories).

Could you please share your views here again?

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On 5/25/2022 at 12:31 PM, Amar said:

have bookmarked your 2018 post of basic blood tests, just a few hours ago. Have you seen any improvements/changes after your 2020 update?

Amar, I don't know since 2020 was my last complete lab test, a few months ago I did a blood lipid panel based on a finger prick (in a pharmacy) which was good, whereas my blood glucose has worsened, I wrote a specific thread on that. 

On 5/25/2022 at 12:31 PM, Amar said:

I am a vegan but not into wholefood plant based diet and kind of bothered by lectures that one should get each and every nutrient from food (which I am unable to, restricting calories).

Could you please share your views here again?

If you can post a cronometer snapshot with a representative daily menu I'll probably understand better your diet and be able to express an opinion

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On 5/29/2022 at 1:20 AM, mccoy said:

If you can post a cronometer snapshot with a representative daily menu I'll probably understand better your diet and be able to express an opinion

My daily diet is more or less the same 5 days a week. The attached are a few snapshots.

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

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On 5/25/2022 at 12:31 PM, Amar said:

I am able to reach to around 700mg with Fennel seeds, cumin, Basil seeds, curry leaves/ moringa, chia etc that are easily available here.

Interesting sources, although you sure know seeds may not be digested 100%.

I understand you did your homework, what I can suggest is just common sense, zinc is easy to supplement, 10 mg every morning on an empty stomach in your case is probably a must. Calcium RDA is not easy to reach with your diet, but you would need just a little supplementation to reach the target.

Also, riboflavin is a typical deficiency in vegans. When I was vegan though I always was over the RDA, maybe because of the abundant soymilk I drank. Anyhow in your place, I would take a little nutritional yeast every day, which will go a long way to ensure that RDA is reached, in both B2 and B3.

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9 hours ago, mccoy said:

although you sure know seeds may not be digested 100%

This I assumed to be due to high fat and fibre content which are not absorbed much/eventually go down to the colon (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/solving-the-mystery-of-the-missing-calories/). Please correct me if I am wrong.

Does this affect the absorption of Calcium too from them?

However, I plan to take around 200mg Calcium through Calcium Citrate (or - citrate malate) supplement. I agree on the Zinc part. However, nutritional yeast would be heavy on pocket for me. A tablet/a pill would be economical for me (I feel both serve the same purpose).

Your comments please.

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Interesting sources, Amar. It works well, it seems.

I do use non-fortified nutritional yeast daily and it's a great source of B-2 and B-3, but stuff like cannellini beans and sweet potatoes may help too.

The purslane is a new discovery for me, I didn't know it was so nutritious.

Why so much oil, if you don't mind me asking?

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Thank you for the response. Unfortified version seems to be a good sources of B5 too. I luckily hit the B5 target in the screenshots I posted (I generally don't reach the level). But as I mentioned earlier, nutritional yeast is too much heavy on my pocket, so..

 

5 hours ago, Ron Put said:

I didn't know it was so nutritious

It has too much of oxalates too ☹️ This is one of the green leafy vegetables that we use (not regularly though).

5 hours ago, Ron Put said:

Why so much oil, if you don't mind me asking?

I use Sunflower Oil only as a source to contribute Omega6 and Vitamin E. It is used here in making curry/dal or frying other foods. The quantity I use is just a fraction of what people around me use (they usually POUR oil in their foods while cooking). I honestly wish to avoid it but I am unable to reach my targets using whole foods while keeping myself in calorie deficit

I tried to make a plan which included only whole foods, I found out I could not make any changes to the diet later. I would have to have the same foods everyday. Its kind of seemed monotonous.

I wonder how you all could diversify while still restricting calories. Please share your views.

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1 hour ago, Amar said:

Thank you for the response. Unfortified version seems to be a good sources of B5 too. I luckily hit the B5 target in the screenshots I posted (I generally don't reach the level). But as I mentioned earlier, nutritional yeast is too much heavy on my pocket, so..

 

It has too much of oxalates too ☹️ This is one of the green leafy vegetables that we use (not regularly though).

I use Sunflower Oil only as a source to contribute Omega6 and Vitamin E. It is used here in making curry/dal or frying other foods. The quantity I use is just a fraction of what people around me use (they usually POUR oil in their foods while cooking). I honestly wish to avoid it but I am unable to reach my targets using whole foods while keeping myself in calorie deficit

I tried to make a plan which included only whole foods, I found out I could not make any changes to the diet later. I would have to have the same foods everyday. Its kind of seemed monotonous.

I wonder how you all could diversify while still restricting calories. Please share your views.

my omega 6 is only 6.4g daily! their is no real RDA for Omega 6 like their is for say other micronutrients. The figure that cronometer gives is according to what is working in the real world with "normal" diets and people.

I might be wrong but I believe living a CRONnie life means we don't need as much than people that have bad diets and gauge on food. and omega 6 is pro inflammatory, the less you consume the better for less oxidative stress. And your ratio to omega 3 to omega is also a good thing to keep in mind, the more 1:1 the better but we can tolerate 4:1, mine is around 2:1.

lastly the omega 3 you are getting has basically zero that gets converted to the omega 3 we need for our brains, I would personally reduce your omega 3 and maybe take a fish oil to get the right omega 3 for your brain and better your ratio. like I said im only taking in 6.4g daily compared to your 19!

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Thank you for the inputs.

33 minutes ago, pwonline said:

The figure that cronometer gives is according to what is working in the real world with "normal" diets and people.

Yes. I considered Omega6 RDA to be 17g (LA for men age 19-50) from sources that I read and also cronometer says the same. I don't know if I can be called a CRONie in literal sense as I am just in calorie deficit phase. I am trying to have "Optimal Nutrition".

I searched too much for any studies/resources/recommendations claimed that one can avoid fats completely/at least reduce the intake of 'pro-inflammatory' essential fatty Omega6. This link recommends a minimum of 20pc of total calories (EFAs plus non-EFAs) coming from daily intake. So, I planned to reduce non EFAs and increase EFAs to meet normally recommended levels of 1.7g (ALA) and 17g (LA). Not sure if my approach is right.  I need to dig this forum to study regarding the same.

 

57 minutes ago, pwonline said:

lastly the omega 3 you are getting has basically zero that gets converted to the omega 3 we need for our brains, I would personally reduce your omega 3 and maybe take a fish oil to get the right omega 3 for your brain and better your ratio.

Being a vegan, I choose Algal Oil supplement. But I use it but occasionally and take in adequate ALA around  to give my body a chance to convert ALA to EPA/DHA (going by the ASSUMPTION that my body can convert it to maximum extent) and I could settle to a omega6to3 ratio of around 4:1 (yes, far from the 'ideal' but I cant get it down).

 

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1 hour ago, Amar said:

Thank you for the inputs.

Yes. I considered Omega6 RDA to be 17g (LA for men age 19-50) from sources that I read and also cronometer says the same. I don't know if I can be called a CRONie in literal sense as I am just in calorie deficit phase. I am trying to have "Optimal Nutrition".

I searched too much for any studies/resources/recommendations claimed that one can avoid fats completely/at least reduce the intake of 'pro-inflammatory' essential fatty Omega6. This link recommends a minimum of 20pc of total calories (EFAs plus non-EFAs) coming from daily intake. So, I planned to reduce non EFAs and increase EFAs to meet normally recommended levels of 1.7g (ALA) and 17g (LA). Not sure if my approach is right.  I need to dig this forum to study regarding the same.

 

Being a vegan, I choose Algal Oil supplement. But I use it but occasionally and take in adequate ALA around  to give my body a chance to convert ALA to EPA/DHA (going by the ASSUMPTION that my body can convert it to maximum extent) and I could settle to a omega6to3 ratio of around 4:1 (yes, far from the 'ideal' but I cant get it down).

 

I was worried about my Omega 6 and read this amazing article

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/know-your-nutrients/how-much-omega-6-do-you-need#:~:text=As little as four or,makes for a nice ratio.

Quote

It’s important to realize that the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for linoleic acid is not a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) but an Adequate Intake (AI). An RDA reflects the average daily intake level that will be enough to meet the nutrient requirements of most healthy individuals. When the agency feels that there isn’t enough evidence to establish an RDA, they set an AI, which reflects the amount that’s typically consumed by healthy people.

Quote

As little as four or five grams of linoleic acid is enough to prevent an omega-6 deficiency. If you are also getting the recommended one to two grams of omega-3 (and most Americans are), that also makes for a nice ratio

if that article is correct then there is no more benefit consuming more than around 6g of omega 6 and try to consume at least 2 grams of Omega 3. I could take consume flax seed to get me a perfect ratio but I'm at 1620 calories and from my studies longevity is more to do with calories you consume then the perfect ratio of fats, so I'm leaving my diet alone.

 

Sorry I forgot your vegan so can't take fish oil, yeah you get some decent amount of DHA and EPA from your algae supplement and I think your wise to increase your omega 3 ALA. I think you done good with your fats intake and ratio so keep that up. Take a look at collard greens, I buy from tesco they called spring greens, it's AN AMAZING SUPERFOOD. It's cheap as hell and it's basically spinach without the oxalates . It's so damn cheap, it's also same price in ALDI. I think it tastes amazing and it's loaded with minerals, I consume 300grams daily and it gives me 50% of my calcium! it has more calcium than anything I've seen. I only eat two vegatables, broccoli and collard greens and whole grains and lagumes and get all my micronutrients while only consuming 1600 calories a day, NO SUPPLEMENTS! It took me 6 months to get my diet like this and hopefully my body doesn't reject it. I also do 19.5 hours fast a day with only 2 meals in between. feel free to ask me anything

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On 6/3/2022 at 4:42 PM, pwonline said:

if that article is correct then there is no more benefit

Hi. I am not sure if just aiming to avoid deficiency is a good strategy while PUFAs have been hailed for the health benefits they provide (if only taken within 'limits'). I need to study more on this from the forum.

 

On 6/3/2022 at 4:42 PM, pwonline said:

It's cheap as hell and it's basically spinach without the oxalates

Most of the green leafy vegetables I get over here have significant amounts of oxalates. Kale, collard greens, Aldi/Tesco etc. are out of my reach as I live in Southern most part of Asia.

On 6/3/2022 at 4:42 PM, pwonline said:

NO SUPPLEMENTS!

That is great. But as I mentioned earlier, I have created meal plans which include only whole foods to hit the RDAs of all the micronutrients but the I can't ensure having a variety of foods. It seems kind of monotonous for me with the resources available to me (without using supplements).

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12 hours ago, Amar said:

It seems kind of monotonous for me with the resources available to me (without using supplements).

Supplements are all right, especially if targeted, like you are doing. I remember before making regular use of nutritional yeast I used to take Niacin supplements since I never ate many cereals and I couldn't eat peanuts and mushrooms all the time.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, mccoy said:

Supplements are all right, especially if targeted, like you are doing

Thank you. I shall go ahead with targeted supplementation based on the review i get for the latest blood tests results that I posted.

Edited by Amar
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