Most Foods Seem Useless. Any Insights?

edited December 2014 in General Discussion

I've made a massive spreadsheet of nutrient data for foods and have been comparing them. Most foods seem to be completely useless. There are a few worthwhile, but even those are somewhat suspect. Perhaps, someone can shed some light on this.


 


For example: for the most part I can't see any reason to eat anything but 20 tbsp a day of spirulina with 3000 calories of various fatty oils. And the rest of all vitamins, minerals, etc filled in using supplements.


 


This would give me well above the RDA of every nutrient and I'd never have to even look at a stove again.


 


This thread of course assumes that the person gives not a single $#%^ what it tastes like and is only interested in performance and health.


 


Anyone have any insights into foods? Some do have special properties like coconut oil being somewhat anti-fungal, but I can also just take much stronger anti-fungals than coconut oil. And the same goes for every food i've found so far. It may do something cool, but it can be replaced with some other supplement that just does it better so why bother eating it.


 


Of course, please assume, the same as I do, that I am missing some details here and do not have the whole picture. If you do know the things I don't know I don't know, feel free to point out my errors and comment. I am thick skinned ;-)


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Comments

  • GarrettGarrett
    edited December 2014

    Have you ever tried eating 20 tbsp / day of spirulina? 


    You'd also need to make sure to have coconut oil in there, unless you're supplementing with EPA and DHA. If you aren't supplementing EPA and DHA, and are using Spirulina as your sole source of Omega's, then coconut oil would assist with the O3 conversion from ALA to EPA / DHA. 


     


    And it depends - do you want to go for 3k cals of fatty oils / whatnot, and 20 tbsp / day of spirulina, along with supplements... or eat other food? If the former, run the test ;) 30 days. 20 tbsp / day of Spirulina, 3k cals of various oils (I assume also other fats?), and supplements. See how you end up. It could be awesome.


     


    You'd probably also do well having an array of fats, if only for the lipid properties.


    Do you get enough carbs with just Spirulina? Or do you still need to do a refeed?




    I've made a massive spreadsheet of nutrient data for foods and have been comparing them. Most foods seem to be completely useless. There are a few worthwhile, but even those are somewhat suspect. Perhaps, someone can shed some light on this.


     


    For example: for the most part I can't see any reason to eat anything but 20 tbsp a day of spirulina with 3000 calories of various fatty oils. And the rest of all vitamins, minerals, etc filled in using supplements.


     


    This would give me well above the RDA of every nutrient and I'd never have to even look at a stove again.


     


    This thread of course assumes that the person gives not a single $#%^ what it tastes like and is only interested in performance and health.


     


    Anyone have any insights into foods? Some do have special properties like coconut oil being somewhat anti-fungal, but I can also just take much stronger anti-fungals than coconut oil. And the same goes for every food i've found so far. It may do something cool, but it can be replaced with some other supplement that just does it better so why bother eating it.


     


    Of course, please assume, the same as I do, that I am missing some details here and do not have the whole picture. If you do know the things I don't know I don't know, feel free to point out my errors and comment. I am thick skinned :wink:



  • edited December 2014


    Have you ever tried eating 20 tbsp / day of spirulina?




     


    I ate 15 today sir :wink: It tastes quite nice in purified water with olive oil and a bit of stevia. I also mix it with ribose and b vitamins which give a complementing flavor as well.


  • GarrettGarrett
    edited December 2014

    I'm suddenly thinking BP guacamole with a heck of a lot of spirulina in it....   ;)


     


    http://herbstoreusa.com/spirulina-50kg.html


     


    Depending on one's focus and cognition results... it could work, if it gives very solid results. You've gotten me curious!




    I ate 15 today sir :wink: It tastes quite nice in purified water with olive oil and a bit of stevia. I also mix it with ribose and b vitamins which give a complementing flavor as well.





  • I'm suddenly thinking BP guacamole with a heck of a lot of spirulina in it....   ;)


     


    http://herbstoreusa.com/spirulina-50kg.html


     


    Depending on one's focus and cognition results... it could work, if it gives very solid results. You've gotten me curious!




     


     


    I don't think I would like this. I like spirulina. But I don't think I would in guacamole.

  • I enjoy spirulina and avocado. 


    That said, either with water, or as tablets, would probably be the best idea. I could see me munching spirulina tablets. :) Yum!




    I don't think I would like this. I like spirulina. But I don't think I would in guacamole.





  • I'm suddenly thinking BP guacamole with a heck of a lot of spirulina in it....   ;)


     


    http://herbstoreusa.com/spirulina-50kg.html


     


    Depending on one's focus and cognition results... it could work, if it gives very solid results. You've gotten me curious!




     


    That's one of the reasons I am considering this. If I eat clean spirulina, it is one hell of a mental boost. I perform way better on supplementing vitamins and eating like 5tbsp of oil + 2 tbsp spirulina.


     


    I do notice some other things worth eating like collagen (which I do eat), but the list seems short so far.



  • I enjoy spirulina and avocado. 


    That said, either with water, or as tablets, would probably be the best idea. I could see me munching spirulina tablets. :) Yum!




     


    Healthforce Azteca Spiruina is king it seems. Spirulina can cause some issues if it isn't grown properly. but these amigos seem to have it down.



  • You're a mad man, love it! let us know how this works out!




     


    So far it's going killer. Now that the liquid diet is tuned in more, I'm loving it. I just mix 2 gallons of my power drink in the morning and pound on it through the day for vitamins and various other things. And every 3 hours I mix a drink with spirulina and oils.


     


    Just as a disclaimer: I'd totally add butter if it was liquid at room temperature.

  • John BrissonJohn Brisson The Legend Formerly Known as Ron Swanson ✭✭✭

    You can live off of a perfect liquid diet, my son did this because he had a gtube BUT this is not optimal.


     


    Dante you are missing many different antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonols, and other important dietary elements.


     


    Good luck though I would never do what you are doing for a long period of time unless it was medically necessary.




  • You can live off of a perfect liquid diet, my son did this because he had a gtube BUT this is not optimal.


     


    Dante you are missing many different antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonols, and other important dietary elements.


     


    Good luck though I would never do what you are doing for a long period of time unless it was medically necessary.




     


    Will have to go over it more when we do consulting together. Look forward to hearing your thoughts when we do.

  • If you can swing a pure spirulina + fat diet more power to you.  My opinion is that your reductionist ideas of diet will no work out so great in the long run.  Good luck.


  • edited December 2014


    If you can swing a pure spirulina + fat diet more power to you.  My opinion is that your reductionist ideas of diet will no work out so great in the long run.  Good luck.




     


    I acknowledge I don't have the whole picture on diet right now. But the clear trend is that the more I study biochemistry, diet, and supplements in detail ... the more clear it becomes how little science actually knows about this stuff. For the most part, most diet books and similar are based on the crux of eating a "normal" diet while making it healthier; it's about starting with the average reader's cultural bias towards foods and trying to make some tweaks to make it better.


     


    Given a person wanted the best with total disregard towards cultural upbringing, flavor or delivery mechanism (whether you eat it out of a test tube, off a plate, or have to take injections) ... it seems most dietary advice suddenly no longer makes sense or is even applicable. The question I am asking is along those lines. Given a person were prepared to start from scratch, eject everything they've ever though they knew and look at the core data ... and build upward from that foundation rather than working backwards from their cultural bias and other predispositions ... what would that diet look like?


  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    I'm lazy to check this but you guys surely know: is spirulina a complete protein source?


  • Star ChaserStar Chaser Powered by Shred


    I'm lazy to check this but you guys surely know: is spirulina a complete protein source?













    It is indeed. Spirulina has a pretty powerful effect on the micro biome, any thoughts on how this could effect you in the long run? An unfortunate pruning of the biome? Potential for an opportunistic overgrowth? Love what you're doing, give it hell brother.

  • I arrived at the opposite conclusion, given how little is known about anything, go Paleo and eat what we evolved to eat. Thus there are reasons to eat Paleo/natural foods not yet known on your spreadsheet, or by anyone. 


     


    But its a brave and logical endeavour hopefully you'll be the first to figure it out :). Fingers crossed its a phenomenal discovery.




  • I'm lazy to check this but you guys surely know: is spirulina a complete protein source?




     


    Yes. It's actually the *most* complete protein source I have yet to come across. It contains every single amino acid but 1 (glutamine). Although notably it contains less methionine and histadine than meat sources of amino acids.


     


    It also contains massive quantities of trace minerals and vitamins. It seems expensive until you do the math. Because it replaces more than 10 other supplements at least partially and several are replaced completely. On a results-adjusted basis, spirulina is profoundly inexpensive.



  • It is indeed. Spirulina has a pretty powerful effect on the micro biome, any thoughts on how this could effect you in the long run? An unfortunate pruning of the biome? Potential for an opportunistic overgrowth? Love what you're doing, give it hell brother.




     


    Thanks for the support, bro.


     


    To respond to your questions:


    This is definitely one area that needs to be checked. Right now, my approach is simply one of hedging my bets in areas of current uncertainty. For example, I am taking beyond fiber and kydophillus for their benefits in that area. And taking a highly-concentrated blend from fruits and vegetables that contains 20-30 different ones.


     


    As I said, this is simply to hedge my bets until I learn more. I have yet to prove vegetables are useless, but I also have yet to prove I actually need to eat them. So I am simply supplementing a high quality powder of them for now. Same for the other stuff for micro-biome. In the future, these things may be removed as I learn more. Or I may end up adding in some other stuff; time will tell.


     


    As far as getting some sort of overgrowth, I also take things like ACS nano which has the most impressive results I've seen for killing things like candida overgrowths. So it would seem this would again be another such way of hedging my bets.


     


    At this point, I acknowledge my experiment isn't far out of the neandrathal stage, but I aim to continue following this course of action to its logical conclusion; whatever that may be.



  • I arrived at the opposite conclusion, given how little is known about anything, go Paleo and eat what we evolved to eat. Thus there are reasons to eat Paleo/natural foods not yet known on your spreadsheet, or by anyone. 


     


    But its a brave and logical endeavour hopefully you'll be the first to figure it out :). Fingers crossed its a phenomenal discovery.




     


    I agree with that being a useful heuristic. It's utility rests with the desires of the wielder, however. If a person just wanted something quick to get started with minimal effort while still getting some great benefits, it's a great place to go.


     


    As soon as a person were prepared to go further, however, in pursuit of even greater benefits ... that sort of thinking is no longer of utility. Modern science and personal testing can come up with much more sophisticated and fine-tuned things than just eating what we think our ancestors ate.


     


    I'd say our thinking isn't so much at odds as it is that we are at a very different place in how we perceive the problem. For anyone looking for similar as you, I'd definitley still recommend the bulletproof diet.

  • Make sure you sprinkle in a few pounds of bacon, here and there.


    Because.... bacon.




    I agree with that being a useful heuristic. It's utility rests with the desires of the wielder, however. If a person just wanted something quick to get started with minimal effort while still getting some great benefits, it's a great place to go.


     


    As soon as a person were prepared to go further, however, in pursuit of even greater benefits ... that sort of thinking is no longer of utility. Modern science and personal testing can come up with much more sophisticated and fine-tuned things than just eating what we think our ancestors ate.


     


    I'd say our thinking isn't so much at odds as it is that we are at a very different place in how we perceive the problem. For anyone looking for similar as you, I'd definitley still recommend the bulletproof diet.



  • Jason MillerJason Miller Mother nature isn't stupid mod

    Yes. It's actually the *most* complete protein source I have yet to come across. It contains every single amino acid but 1 (glutamine). Although notably it contains less methionine and histadine than meat sources of amino acids.

     

    It also contains massive quantities of trace minerals and vitamins. It seems expensive until you do the math. Because it replaces more than 10 other supplements at least partially and several are replaced completely. On a results-adjusted basis, spirulina is profoundly inexpensive.





    Where are you getting the report on the nutritional analysis from, I can't find one or at least can't find one that shows this great significance you attest to, I'd love to read it.


  • Where are you getting the report on the nutritional analysis from, I can't find one or at least can't find one that shows this great significance you attest to, I'd love to read it.




     


    There are many sources. Some more detailed and trustworthy than others. If you just want a basic coverage of spirulina in general, look at the listing on the USDA website. Also nutritiondata.com has info but they don't list everything in it, just the things in larger quantities.

  • Jason MillerJason Miller Mother nature isn't stupid mod

    There are many sources. Some more detailed and trustworthy than others. If you just want a basic coverage of spirulina in general, look at the listing on the USDA website. Also nutritiondata.com has info but they don't list everything in it, just the things in larger quantities.




    Yes I saw nutritiondata but even for 1 cup of spirulina the vitamin/ mineral amounts are not spectacular, you'd need to eat over 2 cups worth /day to reach dv's which are low already, but then things like copper for example become quite high( too high?). I just thought when you said massive quantities it would be at least 100%rda.
  • edited December 2014


    Yes I saw nutritiondata but even for 1 cup of spirulina the vitamin/ mineral amounts are not spectacular, you'd need to eat over 2 cups worth /day to reach dv's which are low already, but then things like copper for example become quite high( too high?). I just thought when you said massive quantities it would be at least 100%rda.




     


    Referring to it as "massive" is in comparison to other foods. I've charted over 100 foods now ... starting with all of those I already thought to be the highest in nutrients ... such as those on the top of the BP diet. Spirulina has magnitudes more of the stuff than even any of those foods. None of them even come close.


     


    I know where you are coming from, though. Spirulina was the first food I charted, and I went "meh" when I saw it. But after days of charting other foods later, I've now come to appreciate how dense it is. The only other thing comparable in terms of nutrient density is chlorella that I've seen so far.


  • Jason MillerJason Miller Mother nature isn't stupid mod
    Its because the water is removed, this makes it appear to have more nutrients by weight. Take spinach, 1 cup is 30g, minus water is 2g, so now you need 15 cups or 450g to make 1 cup reference nutritionally (these numbers are loose). You're point does still remain valid as vegetables aren't readily available in powder form.
  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭


    Its because the water is removed, this makes it appear to have more nutrients by weight...




     


    yeah. that's usually why when you use the nutritiondata nutrient search tool to search for foods high in 'something', spices and dried herbs usually pop to the top of the list. esp when you leave the search as the default 'per 100 gram serving'. If you change the search to 'per 200 calorie serving' then the spices and dried herbs drop down the list. 

  • Very grateful to see this discussion, because one of my biggest query gaps with the Bulletproof Diet book was where he (and you guys) see algae falling on the bulletproof spectrum. This is partly for self-interested reasons--spirulina and chlorella, and somewhat marine phytoplankton, have been my go-tos for about seven years now. It's a taste you acquire pretty quickly (body knows it's getting something good), they work even with highly compromised guts like mine, and I've seen almost-instant relief from serious depression by ingesting them. 


    Also noteworthy, just like fats, animals (chickens, goats) are all over spirulina if given access to it. Fats and algae both confer big advantages.


     


    Two concerns: they contain the analog form of B12, so one needs to make sure to get adequate methylcobalamin because the analog form competes.


    And, although they have GLA, they really don't have much omega-3, so that needs to get balanced out.


    Their lysine to arginine and calcium to phosphorus ratios also aren't quite ideal.


     


    But they are super super, I'm just nitpicking...


    I do recall a podcast where Dave mentioned eating chlorella tablets to offset/chelate mercury in sushi, but this is one of many foods I wish had been covered in the book. Part of the point, I realize, is inferring the heuristics to figure out the rest for ourselves.


  • Jason MillerJason Miller Mother nature isn't stupid mod


    I would think that this does not apply, when you are dealing w/ concentrated powders.


    Futhermore, the nutrition data that I have seen on Spirulina (which matches DanteRomer's interpretation) is for a dried version, and takes into account the water content.


    Many vegetables are (also) available in powder form.




    I'm just saying that comparing dry powder, spinach walks all over spirulina in nutrients, and that was the only one I looked at, so I'm sure there's more. Spinach powder would probably be cheaper too.
  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    But considering that we also need water, this is getting a bit pointless. Why take the powdered spinach / whatever and then drink water separately? (It is mostly a rhetoric question, thank you.)




  • Very grateful to see this discussion, because one of my biggest query gaps with the Bulletproof Diet book was where he (and you guys) see algae falling on the bulletproof spectrum. This is partly for self-interested reasons--spirulina and chlorella, and somewhat marine phytoplankton, have been my go-tos for about seven years now. It's a taste you acquire pretty quickly (body knows it's getting something good), they work even with highly compromised guts like mine, and I've seen almost-instant relief from serious depression by ingesting them. 


    Also noteworthy, just like fats, animals (chickens, goats) are all over spirulina if given access to it. Fats and algae both confer big advantages.


     


    Two concerns: they contain the analog form of B12, so one needs to make sure to get adequate methylcobalamin because the analog form competes.


    And, although they have GLA, they really don't have much omega-3, so that needs to get balanced out.


    Their lysine to arginine and calcium to phosphorus ratios also aren't quite ideal.


     


    But they are super super, I'm just nitpicking...


    I do recall a podcast where Dave mentioned eating chlorella tablets to offset/chelate mercury in sushi, but this is one of many foods I wish had been covered in the book. Part of the point, I realize, is inferring the heuristics to figure out the rest for ourselves.




     


    You raised some great points. I'll touch on responding to them in a moment. First, to answer your inquiry as to where they fall on the BP diet, it's my understanding that dave asprey is concerned about their mycotoxin content so they aren't particularly high. That being said, my response is that I'd simply counter it by taking things that counter any. Which I do anyways. Also, I deliberately started testing spirulina with sub-par brands knowing they'd be the most likely to be high in mycotoxins. Never did get the russian roulette brain fog like happens with chocolate or other foods prone to mycotoxins. This isn't exactly the same as having an assay done, but it was enough to demonstrate that at my current intake of everything else I take there are not sufficient mycotoxins to knock me off my performance. And I'll actually be continuing to consume the highest quality one from now forward.


     


    Definitely agree on methylcobalamin. I take 300,000 to 500,000 times the RDA per day so I'm in the clear on that. This is a good example of some of the nuances of diet, definitely, however.


     


    I agree on the amino acids bit. I've plotted the minimum requirements for amino acids for my body weight and found spirulina alone would put me low on 3 of them. I'm already planning to take collagen for other reasons, so once I update my data, that may round this out. Although i am also considering upgraded whey. Not because I feel whey is needed but because it does wonders for my sleeping well. And perhaps the additional amino acids would round out the amino acid profile of the diet.


     


    In terms of phosphorous, I'm now thinking adding half chlorella and half spirulina to round that out more (suggested by a friend of mine).


     


    Your post seemed to mention specific ratios as well, however. Is there a significance to lysine to arginine ratio ... and calcium to phosphorous ratios? Notably, I'll be supplementing calcium from other sources as well, but it may be worth balancing if you are implying that there is a significance to having specific ratios between those things.


     


    Right now, I'm looking at adding fish oil or krill oil in large enough amounts to bring omega-3 and 6 into balance and also as a fats source. I'm not dead-set one what that ratio should be yet, though. I've seen plenty fo studies confirming 1:6 is beneficial but a lot of speculation that 1:1 may be better. I'm going to have to test and find out.


     


    That is another benefit of spirulina is that it also chelates heavy metals.


     


     




    I'm just saying that comparing dry powder, spinach walks all over spirulina in nutrients, and that was the only one I looked at, so I'm sure there's more. Spinach powder would probably be cheaper too.




     


    Thank you for bringing this up. I have no background in that area, so I won't make any comment one way or the other. But you've highlighted a great further path of inquiry. For example, I know of a company that makes dried versions of different organ meats from happy, healthy cows. This leads me to consider looking into if these have increased nutrient density over buying and cooking meats.


     


    I am also interested in comparing others. FOr example, right now I am taking paleogreens and paleoreds which are a blend of 30 or more different fruit and vegatable powders that are cold-processed. It makes me wonder if it may be worth continuing to use them.


     


    Right now, I don't have an answer either way. But I'll be following this line of inquiry. You've raised some excellent points for further research and inquiry.


     




    But considering that we also need water, this is getting a bit pointless. Why take the powdered spinach / whatever and then drink water separately? (It is mostly a rhetoric question, thank you.)




     


    It greatly condenses down the volume of food to be digested. This lowers energy spent on digestion and also removes any need for cooking. One's stance on performance and cooking may vary. This simply reflects my bias. I will do just about anything to gain an hour a day ... or even 10 minutes.

  • Thanks so much for these thoughts! More comments below.




     


    Isn't it funny how people give chocolate a free pass? Like the oompa loompas create a blind spot :) 


    Have you tried David Wolfe's Incan spirulina? (I think the trial size 2oz is on sale at $5.) It's pretty good. 


    What things do you like to take to combat mycotoxins?


     


     


    Your post seemed to mention specific ratios as well, however. Is there a significance to lysine to arginine ratio ... and calcium to phosphorous ratios? Notably, I'll be supplementing calcium from other sources as well, but it may be worth balancing if you are implying that there is a significance to having specific ratios between those things.


     


    As I understand it, you need a molecule of Ca for each molecule of P taken in, so excess P will pull Ca, and you need as much Ca as P plus whatever excess Ca you wish to supplement. This isn't paid very good attention, unless you look at nutrition for people's pets (notable trend in human nutrition).


    As for lysine/arginine, if you have any kind of latent virus, especially herpes, it feeds on arginine and is inhibited by lysine, and these two amino acids compete. Lysine also has evidence as a broader-spectrum antiviral, so (chocolate and nuts notwithstanding!) it's something I keep on my radar and also supplement. Obviously, arginine is super-important as well...


     


    Right now, I'm looking at adding fish oil or krill oil in large enough amounts to bring omega-3 and 6 into balance and also as a fats source. I'm not dead-set one what that ratio should be yet, though. I've seen plenty fo studies confirming 1:6 is beneficial but a lot of speculation that 1:1 may be better. I'm going to have to test and find out.


     


    I'd be really interested in your conclusions. There's more contention over this than I'd ever guessed. I do hear people say that 1:4, which is what walnuts and hemp seeds exemplify, is a fine ratio.


     


    That is another benefit of spirulina is that it also chelates heavy metals.


     


    As I understand it, chlorella is the really strong chelator; spirulina not so much.


     


    I am also interested in comparing others. FOr example, right now I am taking paleogreens and paleoreds which are a blend of 30 or more different fruit and vegatable powders that are cold-processed. It makes me wonder if it may be worth continuing to use them.


     


    This is one of the trickiest things to finesse--the synergy. Where does the combination create enhancement, and at what point it just creates an indigestible mess. I have a huge tendency toward making smoothies with twenty or more different ingredients (I have severe digestive issues (celiac, etc., etc) so blending stuff works great), but there comes a point when it's just like a big confusion in my gut, and I wonder what I ate that made me sick, and have to recognize that maybe it wasn't one specific thing but the overwhelming confusion of inputs! I'd love to figure out the optimal number of ingredients.



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