Looking to get some insights on an interesting issue.
I’ve been following a bunch of the zero carb people lately, and I’m curious about your thoughts on ZC, especially regarding nutrient sufficiency. We can use software like Cronometer or Marty Kendall’s Nutrient Optimiser to show how “poorly” an all-meat diet (no organs, no supplements) stacks up against a nutrient-dense low carb or ketogenic diet that includes vegetables. And sure, it comes in a lot lower on a few things, BUT, my main question is, do you think the types of food we consume (and possibly even the amount) affect our nutrient requirements? It’s hard to imagine this isn’t the case. Maybe people on very low carb diets need a lot less chromium and magnesium, for example. I mean, it seems like our requirements would be determined at least in part by the metabolic processes we have going on, and an all-meat diet might depend on particular processes more or less than an omnivorous low-carb diet, or a vegan diet, high-carb, or any other approach.
People will always need at least a little bit of every essential nutrient, but being that there are now a lot of people seemingly thriving for years on all-meat diets without eating nose-to-tail and largely without supplementing anything at all, doesn’t this turn a lot of our deeply held notions upside down? (These people are eating diets that consist almost entirely of steak or ground beef, with occasional bacon and cheese. Some of them have been doing this for years, if we take them at their word.) I could easily wrap my head around fiber and carbohydrate in general being completely unnecessary, but the ZC people really should make us rethink a lot of what we think we “know.” (But in terms of “knowing,” personally, I think the RDAs are mostly guesswork anyway, so there’s a chance no one really knows how the hell much of anything we really need — whether to just survive, or to thrive.)
Sorry for the long message. I just value the thoughts of people here and I can’t help wondering if assessing different diets by their nutrient content is not going give us all the facts, because it may well be that very different nutritional strategies bring along their own, unique nutrient requirements. And again, I acknowledge that we do need a certain amount of all essential vitamins & minerals, but there’s a chance that radically different ways of eating necessitate different amounts of B6, biotin, etc,. etc.
Please chime in! I’m fascinated by this. Marty asked this on one of the Zero Carb FB groups and it just seems like we need more research. We just don’t know. Plenty of stories/testimonials from people, but no hard answers…yet. It’s possible that some of the deficiencies take years to develop, as they might on a vegan diet. You feel great…until you feel terrible. But I’m inclined to think an all animal diet is probably still far better, nutrient-wise, than an all-plant one. It just seems like we don’t have the same kind of stories coming out of the ZC camp of poor health after years as there is from long-term vegans. I mean, the truth is, it seems like whatever was taken into account to develop the minimum nutritional requirements for humans was done in the context of a mixed diet. Shrug. I have no idea…just looking to get the conversation going.